How hard they hit? Perception, adaptation and public health implications of heat waves in urban and peri-urban Pakistan
Heat waves threaten human health given the fast changing climatic scenarios in the recent past. Adaptation to heat waves would take place when people perceive their impacts based on their knowledge. The present study examines perception level and its determinants resulting in adaptation to heat waves in Pakistan. The study used cross-sectional data from urban and peri-urban respondents of Faisalabad District. The study employs a health belief model to assess risk perception among the respondents. Logistic model is used to determine factors affecting level of knowledge, perception and adaptation to heat waves. Around 30% of peri-urban respondents have a low level of knowledge about the fatal impacts of heat waves. Risk perception of heat waves is very low among urban (57%) and peri-urban (66%) respondents. Households’ knowledge on heat waves is significantly related to age, gender, education, wealth and access to health services. Determinants of perception include knowledge of heat waves, age and joint effect of marital status and knowledge while income level, family size, urban/peri-urban background, perceived barriers, perceived benefits and cues to action significantly affect adaptation to heat waves. To reduce deadly health impacts, mass awareness campaigns are needed to build perception and improve adaptation to heat waves.
KeywordsImpacts Mitigation Health belief model Mortality Socioeconomic Climate change
This work is based on the M.Sc. (Hons) work of the first author. Authors are extremely thankful for the valuable suggestions by Dr. Zulfiqar Ahmad Saqib and Dr. Muhammad Usman. We are also grateful to the respondents for agreeing to provide required information for this study.
- Das S, Smith SC (2012) Awareness as an adaptation strategy for reducing mortality from heat waves: evidence from a disaster risk management program in India. SANDEE Working Paper, p.72–12Google Scholar
- Glum J (2015) Pakistan heat wave 2015: death toll exceeds 1,200 as Karachi struggles with continued extreme weather during Ramadan. Int Busin Times dated 27-06-2015. Available online at http://www.ibtimes.com/pakistan-heat-wave-2015-death-toll-exceeds-1200-karachi-struggles-continued-extreme-1986866
- IPCC (2013) Summary for policymakers In: climate change 2013: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Jha MK (2010) Natural and anthropogenic disasters: an overview. In: Jha MK (ed) Natural and anthropogenic disasters: vulnerability, preparedness and mitigation. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 1–16Google Scholar
- Kosatsky T, Dufresne J, Richard L, Renouf A, Giannetti N, Bourbeau J et al (2009) Heat awareness and response among Montreal residents with chronic cardiac and pulmonary disease. Can J Public Health 100:237–240Google Scholar
- Malik SM, Awan H, Khan N (2012) Mapping vulnerability to climate change and its repercussions on human health in Pakistan. Glob Health 8(31):1–10Google Scholar
- MHHDC (2005) Human development in South Asia: human security in South Asia. Mahbub-ul-Haq Human Development Centre, Oxford University Press, KarachiGoogle Scholar
- Saeed F, Suleri, AQ (2015) Future heat waves in Pakistan under IPCC’s climate change scenario. Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Policy Brief 46, Islamabad, PakistanGoogle Scholar
- Sharples DM (2010) Communicating climate science: evaluating the UK public’s attitude to climate change. Earth Env 5:185–205Google Scholar
- Sheikh S, Tunio S (2013) Pakistan wilts under record heat wave. Thomson Reuters Foundation. Available: http://streettimes.com.pk/pakistan-wilts-under-record-heat-wave/. Accessed 5 April 2016
- Vidal J, Sethna R (2013) Pakistan can expect worse heat waves to come, meteorologists warn. Available: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jun/14/pakistan-heatwave-meteorologist. Accessed 12 Jan 2016
- Zahid M, Rasul G (2010) Rise in summer heat index over Pakistan. Pak J Met 6(12):85–96Google Scholar