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[afro-nets] Health and Climate Change and Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change

  • From: "Jakes Rawlinson" <brajakes@gmail.com>
  • Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2009 13:25:29 +0200

Dear All,

The Lancet commissions Series to highlight clinically important topics and areas of health and medicine often overlooked by mainstream research programmes and other medical publications. Many of the Series have the specific aim of raising the profile of these neglected areas as an advocacy tool to inform health policy and improve human development. These Series can be found at http://www.thelancet.com/series and are organised by year and by topics. The current Series focus on Disability and the Series before focused on Climate Change and Health in preparation for Copenhagen to inform the debate.

The Series on Climate Change and Health can be found at
http://www.thelancet.com/series/health-and-climate-change There is a short introduction which I copy and paste below as "fair use".

"*Health and Climate Change*
Launched in London, Nov 25, 2009

Climate change already affects human health, and, if no action is taken, problems such as malnutrition, deaths and injury due to extreme weather conditions, and change in geographical distribution of disease vectors will worsen. This Series is the result of an international collaboration of scientists supported by a consortium of funding bodies coordinated by the Wellcome Trust, UK. The Comments and Articles make a strong case for linking climate and health goals, and provide a quantitative underpinning for this important health message."

This is followed by 6 Series papers on the topic on some Comments and an Executive Summary to tie it all together.

Earlier in 2009, on the 13th of May, a collaboration between The Lancet and University College London, UK, resulted in the first UCL Lancet Commission report setting out how climate change over the coming decades could have a disastrous effect on health across the globe. The report examines practical measures that can be taken now and in the short and medium term to control its effects.

The *'Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change'* report can be downloaded from the page at http://www.thelancet.com/climate-change and there are several other links to articles and comments related to the report and the topic.

Exucutive Summary

Climate change could be the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. Effects on health of climate change will be felt by most populations in the next decades and put the lives and wellbeing of billions of people at increased risk. During this century, the earth’s average surface temperature rises are likely to exceed the safe threshold of 2°C above pre-industrial average temperature.

This report outlines the major threats—both direct and indirect—to global health from climate change through changing patterns of disease, water and food insecurity, vulnerable shelter and human settlements, extreme climatic events, and population migration. Although vector-borne diseases will expand their reach and death tolls, the indirect effects of climate change on water, food security, and extreme climatic events are likely to have the biggest effect on global health.

A new advocacy and public health movement is needed urgently to bring together governments, international agencies, non-governmental organisations, communities, and academics from all disciplines to adapt to the effects of climate change on health.

Dr JL Rawlinson
Department of Community / Public Health Medicine
University of Limpopo
South Africa