Climate change and health: The case of mapping droughts and migration pattern in Iran (2011-2016)




droughts, migrations, geographic information system, climate change, health, Iran


Introduction: Migration and mobility of population have been reported as a common reaction to drought. There is historical evidence to suggest the health effects of droughts and human migration linkage in Iran. This study aimed to map the drought and migration patterns in Iran in 2011 and 2016 and explore their possible health impacts.

Methods: This sequential explanatory mixed-method study was done in two stages of spatial analysis and qualitative study. Data mapping was conducted through the equal interval classification and using drought, migration, and agriculture occupation data based on provincial divisions in Iran in 2011 and 2016. This qualitative study was conducted using the content analysis approach.

Results: The in-migration rate was higher in 2011 rather than 2016. Migration to cities was much higher than migration to villages in both years. The frequency of male migrants was higher than females in all provinces in 2011 and 2016. Physical and mental diseases as well as economic, sociocultural, education, and environment effects on health were extracted from the qualitative data.

Conclusion: A holistic picture of droughts and migration issues in Iran and their health consequences were achieved by the present research. Further research is needed to explore the determinants of health impacts of climate change in vulnerable groups. Public health problems can be prevented by adaptive and preventive policy-making and planning. This can improve the coping capacity of the population facing droughts and enforced migration.

Author Biographies

Sanaz Sohrabizadeh, PhD

Air Quality and Climate Change Research Center, Research Institute for Health Sciences and Environment, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Corresponding author:

Iman Farahi-Ashtiani, PhD

Department of Health in Disasters and Emergencies, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Amirhosein Bahramzadeh, MSc

Department of Health in Disasters and Emergencies, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Zahra Eskandari, PhD

Department of Medical Emergencies, School of Nursing, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Tehran, Iran

Aioub Moradi, PhD

Department of Forestry, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran

Ahmad Ali Hanafi-Bojd, PhD

Zoonoses Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


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How to Cite

Sohrabizadeh, S., I. Farahi-Ashtiani, A. Bahramzadeh, Z. Eskandari, A. Moradi, and A. A. Hanafi-Bojd. “Climate Change and Health: The Case of Mapping Droughts and Migration Pattern in Iran (2011-2016)”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 22, no. 7, Apr. 2024, pp. 113-22, doi:10.5055/jem.0814.