Causes of endemic nephropathy in developing countries- combining epidemiology with Earth Observation
The rapid rise of endemic nephropathy (within a generation) in several populations has suggested a strong environmental component and cyanobacterial toxins have emerged as a potential causative risk factor for endemic nephropathy in pilot data collected in Sri Lanka. Geographical data on the distribution of renal disease (frequency of cases/deaths, and proteinuria) from Sri Lanka will be compared with earth observation (satellite) derived water quality data, examining at sub-national level cyanobacterial blooms in water bodies over the last 20 years. Using imagery from Landsat and/or Sentinel 2 satellites water quality parameters (surface temperature, chlorophyll-a, total suspended solids) for larger (>1ha) water bodies can be derived given basic ground-truth data. Water quality information and meteorological data is then used to correlate with health data for different climate regions. This will allow temporo-spatial analysis relating population exposure to cyanobacterial blooms and association with renal disease occurrence.
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