Observed and Modeled Seasonal Air Quality and Respiratory Health in Senegal during 2015 and 2016 Public

In this work, we use existing particulate matter (PM) data from Dakar, Senegal, satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD) and the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to evaluate the role of dust transport from the Sahara and PM concentrations and exposure into other administrative districts of Senegal during 2015 and 2016. We also use data from the Ministry of Health to examine spatial and temporal patterns of acute respiratory infections (ARI), asthma, bronchitis, and tuberculosis across Senegal with an emphasis on Northern Hemisphere winter December-February, when air quality is poor and June-August when there is an improvement in air quality. Measurements in Dakar, Senegal suggest hazardous PM10 concentrations associated with Saharan dust storms but lower PM10 concentrations during the summer. The WRF dust simulations show a similar temporal pattern to the observations in Dakar, Senegal with notable biases. However, the WRF model suggests that the highest dust concentrations are found across the northern half of Senegal during the winter season where there are no currently PM measurements. Health data during 2015-2016 show the highest prevalence of asthma and bronchitis in Dakar, Senegal suggesting that other sources of air pollution are important. ARI is prevalent throughout the country with the high prevalence found in rural zones, for children between 12 and 59 months. All measures including real-time monitoring, air quality forecast and communication should be used to protect the public from potentially hazardous environmental conditions during the winter season.

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