WHO Stress Importance of Health and Climate Change

This post answers the following questions

1) What are the natural disasters?
2) Why climate change is a growing concern?
3) When does extreme heat can be expected to happen?
4) What are the effects of climate change?
5) How fast can water borne diseases spread?

As the climate of the planet changes year on year there is a growing concern that health officials aren’t working closely enough to ensure that the health of millions around the globe is protected.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has published an Atlas of Health and Climate and conjunction with the World Metrological Organization (WMO).

With the planet changing temperature there is more scope for the potential of natural disasters such as cyclones, floods and hurricanes just like what is happening on the Eastern seaboard of America as this article is written.  The variation in climate and extreme conditions such as flooding can cause health epidemics such as diarrhoea and malaria.  Water borne diseases can be particularly dangerous and can be seen to spread quickly.

Photo Credits:http://www.flickr.com/photos/gi/315047835/

The maps which were created by WHO showed the close links between climate health and change and some of the highlighted points included:

  • Case studies showed that the alliance of health services, meteorological and emergency services can reduce the loss of life brought about by natural disasters.  In one example the death toll of a cyclone of comparable intensity in Bangladesh fell from 500,000 in 1970, to 140,000 in 1991 to 3,000 in 2007.  This is purely because the communications between the appropriate agencies is improving and ensuring better preparedness.
  • In situations where extreme heat occurs can now be expected to happen every two years or so when previously they would expect this type of pattern to happen every 20 years.  This type of pattern will most certainly affect the planets elderly who are most susceptible to extreme temperatures.  It is thought that the numbers of elderly people living in cities around the globe will rise from 380 million in 2010 to 1.4 billion in 2050.
  • In regions where the regularity of infectious diseases such as dengue fever, malaria and cholera can vary by factors of 100 between seasons.  The incidence of these diseases varies greatly depending on factors including weather conditions and climate.  With more data in countries where endemics occur predicting the beginning and the intensity of epidemics.

medical insurance abroad

Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/itzafineday/2095961797/

These points alone weigh heavily in the favour of agencies such as meteorological and health services working closely to establish the intensity of and length of time epidemics will happen and where.  Ensuring the relationships between these agencies flourish is paramount in safeguarding the future health of many millions of people in all civilisations.

Jenny Jones writes on behalf of AXA PPP International and has written many articles surrounding the topic of global health and the importance of getting medical insurance abroad.  Her work can be seen on many blogs including Followhealth and bmi4sme.

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