Climate change is a major new threat to public health and is changing the way we think about protecting vulnerable populations.
The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that there is overwhelming evidence that human activity is affecting the climate of the planet and emphasized that this has multiple impacts on the global climate. human health. Climate variability and change cause death and disease through natural disasters – such as heat waves, floods and droughts.
In addition, many important diseases are highly sensitive to changes in temperature and precipitation patterns. These are, for example, common vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue, as well as other major killers such as malnutrition and diarrheal diseases. Climate change is already contributing to the global burden of disease and this phenomenon is expected to increase in the future.
The effects of climate on human health will not be felt on the whole planet. Populations in developing countries, including those in small island states, arid or high mountain areas, and densely populated coastal areas are considered particularly vulnerable.
Fortunately, many of these health risks can be avoided through existing health programs and interventions. Concerted action to strengthen key components of health systems and promote healthy development choices can help improve public health now and reduce vulnerability to future climate change.
WHO supports Member States in their efforts to protect public health from the effects of climate change and is the voice of the health sector in the global response of the United Nations system to this global challenge.
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