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Assessment of the Effects of Severe Winter Disasters (Dzud) on Public Health in Mongolia on the Basis of Loss of Livestock

  • Shinji Otani (a1), Kazunari Onishi (a2), Youichi Kurozawa (a2), Yasunori Kurosaki (a3), Tserenpurev Bat-Oyun (a3), Masato Shinoda (a4) and Haosheng Mu (a5)...

Abstract

Objective

Mongolia experienced one of its most severe natural winter disasters (dzud) in 2009-2010. It is difficult to accurately assess the risk of the effects of dzud on human lives and public health. This study aimed to evaluate the Mongolian public health risks of dzud by assessing livestock loss.

Methods

We analyzed data from all 21 provinces and Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia and compared the changes in infant mortality (2009-2010) and the decline in the numbers of livestock (percentage change from the previous year), which included horses, cattle, camels, sheep, and goats (2009-2010) and/or meteorological data. We also evaluated the association among the trends in the infant mortality rate, the number of livestock, and foodstuff consumption throughout Mongolia (2001-2012).

Results

The change in the infant mortality rate was positively correlated with the rate of decreasing numbers of each type of livestock in 2010. Average temperature and total precipitation were not related to the change in the infant mortality rate. In the trend from 2001 to 2012, there was a significant positive correlation between the infant mortality rate and the number of livestock and the consumption of milk products.

Conclusions

Loss of livestock and shortage of milk products leading to malnutrition might have affected public health as typified by infant mortality in Mongolia. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:549–552)

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Shinji Otani, MD, PhD, International Platform for Dryland Research and Education, Tottori University, 1390 Hamasaka, Tottori, Japan (e-mail: ota24n2@med.tottori-u.ac.jp).

References

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Assessment of the Effects of Severe Winter Disasters (Dzud) on Public Health in Mongolia on the Basis of Loss of Livestock

  • Shinji Otani (a1), Kazunari Onishi (a2), Youichi Kurozawa (a2), Yasunori Kurosaki (a3), Tserenpurev Bat-Oyun (a3), Masato Shinoda (a4) and Haosheng Mu (a5)...

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