The Effects of Climate Change on Health Outcomes in Ghana – Dr Nkechi Owoo


Dr Nkechi Owoo delivered this talk as part of her ‘Next Generation’ visiting research fellowship at the University of Bristol in 2023.

Talk abstract
The world’s temperature has already increased by over 1.2°C, with significant health implications. In Ghana, with an average annual temperature of 28°C, the effects of climate change are apparent. Since the 1960s, the number of hot days and nights have increased by about 13% and 20%, respectively. Rainfall patterns have also become increasingly irregular, triggering floods, droughts and heatwaves, with natural disasters predicted to increase in frequency in the future.

This paper uses data from three waves of the Ghana Socioeconomic Panel Survey (2009, 2014, 2018), combined with climate shocks data from Geocoded Disasters (GDIS) Dataset for corresponding periods, to explore the effects of climate vulnerability and shocks on mental health in Ghana. Heterogeneous effects are examined across gender, rural/urban residence and poverty status. Spatial maps are also used to illustrate significant spatial clustering of climate change shocks and vulnerabilities across the country.

About the speaker
Dr Owoo is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana and a Senior Research Fellow at the Environment for Development Institute. She is a Fellow at Future Africa, University of Pretoria and represents the Africa region on the Council of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) for the period 2022 – 2025.

Dr Owoo’s research focuses on spatial econometrics in addition to microeconomic issues in developing countries, including household behaviour, health, poverty and inequality, gender issues, population and demographic economics, as well as environmental sustainability.

Her research focuses on the link between health, environmental sustainability and wellbeing – exploring the effects of climate change on health outcomes and how these relationships are moderated/ mediated by poverty.


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