Examining the role of climate change in the transmission of enteric pathogens in a low-resource neighbourhoods of Maputo, Mozambique

Examining the role of climate change in the transmission of enteric pathogens in a low-resource neighbourhoods of Maputo, Mozambique

Project description

Climate change is one of the greatest threats to global public health in the 21st century, with increases in temperature and the frequency and intensity of flooding, droughts, and severe storms likely to increase the global burden of infectious disease, including diarrhoea. Vulnerability to climate change is likely to be highest in low- and middle-income countries, including in cities like Maputo, Mozambique that must also address urgent challenges like rapid urbanisation, lack of adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services, and high disease burden2. In such urban contexts, these challenges can put pressure on existing sanitation systems, increasing the risk of pathogen exposure and disease3.

The aim of this PhD will be to characterise present and future enteric pathogen exposure and diarrhoeal disease risks associated with flooding events in Maputo, Mozambique. The specific objectives include:

To assess the relationship between rainfall, reported flooding, and enteric pathogen exposure and reported diarrhoea between 2015 – 2023 in Maputo, Mozambique To predict risk of enteric pathogen exposure in Maputo, Mozambique due to flooding under several future climate and population growth scenarios. To describe perceptions of risk, opportunities, and challenges related to climate change, sanitation, disease, and their interplay among community members and organisers, sanitation workers, and government officials in Maputo.

This work will help to fill a critical evidence gap for how flooding influences infectious disease risk in low-resource coastal cities like Maputo which are threatened by the dual challenges of climate change and rapid, often informal, urban population growth.

The successful applicant will join the Environmental Health Group (EHG) at LSHTM, a group of 30 academics with expertise in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). The student will be co-advised by a member of the Environment, Landscape and Climate Change Research Cluster in the Department of Geography at Birkbeck which has a strong focus on effective adaptation to future climate change.

Subject areas/keywords

Enteric pathogens, climate change, environmental transmission, modelling


Applicants must meet minimum LSHTM entry requirements. Please see the specific project details above for any further requirements.

This studentship is open to applicants assessed as both ‘Home’ and ‘Overseas’ fee status.  For further information about Fee Status Assessments please see the School’s Admissions policies.

Successful applicants who are nationals of low income countries and lower middle income countries (LLMICs) may be eligible for an LSHTM bursary to cover the fee top up costs. LLMIC applicants who are short-listed for interview, will be contacted by the LSHTM Scholarships Team at that time to provide further details of the LSHTM bursary scheme as per our UKRI international recruitment statement.  

Successful international applicants who are not from an LLMIC will be required to cover the tuition fee top up costs from other sources (e.g. other scholarship or bursary awards). Awardees may not use their Bloomsbury studentship stipend or personal funds to top up fees.