American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Effects of Environmental Change on Human Health: A Descriptive Economic Analysis

Uttam Paudel, Shiva Raj Adhikari and Krishna Prasad Pant

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2018.274.287

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 14, Issue 6

Pages 274-287

Abstract

Environmental dilapidation in developing countries upsurges the incidence of human diseases leading to societal impoverishment in the disease rampant areas. Literatures on economic evaluation of effects of environmental changes on human health are scanty. This paper descriptively reconnoiters major environmental changes, spread of diseases, associated household cost including health costs and finally benefits from the improvement of environment through household survey in western Nepal. The results ratify that draught, thunderstorm, lightning, flood and heat waves stand as the major climate-induced natural disasters affecting human health where people directly rely on agriculture for livelihood and firewood for cooking in western Nepal. Increasing temperature and decreasing rainfall in all seasons are found parallel with the increasing incidence mostly of waterborne and foodborne diseases in the hilly region and vector-borne diseases in Terai region. Increasing disease incidences with new diseases under the changing environment have aggravated an average of NPR 61,539 (NPR 104 = US$ 1) as direct household curative cost and reduced working efficiency of the patients by 47% at least for a year. Direct adaptation cost in household level is estimated as almost NPR 81,500 which is catastrophic among the remittance-dependent poor community. With poor coverage of life insurance but highly excited towards health insurance in the community, people seem willing to pay more than the government existing rate (NPR 2,500) for ensuring sustainable health security. Finally, the household’s benefit from the improvement of environmental quality partially causing the diseases incidence elicited by the willingness to pay method is obtained as NPR 1,909 per year on an average. From the policy perspective, the results can be destiny in the formulation of environmental conservation plan and generation of self-motivation to the people around disease prone areas in western Nepal.

Copyright

© 2018 Uttam Paudel, Shiva Raj Adhikari and Krishna Prasad Pant. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.