Climate Smart Healthcare
Climate change is not only affecting the weather but also planet earth, plants, animals, and humans’ health. When there is an economic crisis, low-income and then middle-income people are affected first. So also with climate change, low-income and then middle-income countries are demonstrating the worst health impacts due to climate change. The health of human beings has been affected, and will continue to be affected especially in countries with weak healthcare systems and poor infrastructure. The World Bank stated that the effects of climate change and health has been studied extensively, and now organizations are able to provide suggestions for changes in a country's behavior to reduce the impact of climate change, not only on the environment, but also on health. The World Health Organization states that because of the effects of co-pollutants, such as black carbon from diesel vehicle engines, associated with carbon emissions worldwide, there are already 7 million premature deaths each year, with continued stunting of children's growth (www.who.org).
Countries that have been identified as being more vulnerable to illness and disease due to heat are in the tropical and equatorial latitudes. Several of those countries are Asia, Africa, Central and South America. Populations that will be vulnerable to vector-borne diseases such as malaria are Africa and southwest Asia. Countries now more susceptible to Dengue are in Asia/Pacific. North America is vulnerable to Lyme disease, and encephalitis is currently present in countries such as Russia, China, Europe and, Mongolia (www.worldbank.org).
In an attempt to assist countries in developing Climate Smart Healthcare the World Bank Group (WBG) has developed partners and consulted with experts to create smart healthcare programs to address health and climate change. The WBG first identified world populations whose health will be most impacted by climate change. The finding indicated that the most susceptible countries are Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. This report is presented in Geographic Hotspots for World Bank Action on Climate Change and Health. Next, the WBG partnered with organizations such as Health Care Without Harm and produced an in-depth report linking the health sector, development, and climate change. This report, Climate-Smart Healthcare: Low Carbon and Resilience Opportunities for the Health Sector, provides tools and resources for countries to build and sustain health systems that are prepared for the continuing impact of climate change on health.
To get involved or to donate, please visit cisseniassproject.org
Bouley, Timothy; Roschnik, Sonia; Karliner, Josh; Wilburn, Susan; Slotterback, Scott; Guenther, Robin; Orris, Peter; Kasper, Toby; Platzer, Barbara Louise; Torgeson, Kris. 2017. Climate-smart healthcare : low-carbon and resilience strategies for the health sector.
Investing in climate change and health series. Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.