Climate change

At the 70th SEAR Regional Committee Meeting held in Male, Maldives on 7 September 2017, the Ministerial Roundtable engages in Building Health Systems that are Resilient to Climate Change

Informal consultation to prepare for a Ministerial Roundtable on building health systems resilience to climate change

An informal consultation to prepare for a Ministerial round table on building health system resilience to climate change was held in Male’ Maldives from 14-15 May 2017. The meeting was attended by climate change and health focal points from all members states of WHO South-East Asia region. The meeting was opened by H.E Minister of Health, Maldives. The meeting took stock of current health responses to climate change and identified areas that need further strengthening. The participants agreed on a draft set of actions and draft outline of Declaration that will be endorsed by Health Ministers when they attend the 70th Regional Committee meeting in Maldives in September 2017.

Impacts of climate change

Climate change impacts health in very many ways. Its direct effect is in the form of death and injury from the various manifestations of heat stress, storm and surges, landslide and erosion, drowning from flood; vector, vehicle (water, air, vermin and insects) and food borne diseases; malnutrition due to falling agricultural yield (especially in the South-East Asian Region of WHO) and higher market price of cereals due to the fall in yield; mental health problems due to extreme and sudden weather events, migration, change in occupation and aggravation of poverty due to these events and higher cost of health care and medical care.



Updated Regional Strategy on Climate Change

This Regional Strategy for Protecting Health from Climate Change has been developed in keeping with the decisions taken at the 25th Health Ministers Meeting of the South East Asia Region of the World Health Organization in Thimphu, Bhutan in 2007 and the Regional Committee Meeting in 2009 vide SEA/RC62/R2. A regional strategy was requested for in these meetings with the expectation that it will assist Member States to develop their strategies and plans of action for garnering funding for implementing the action plans. Twenty-sixth Meeting of Ministers of Health held in New Delhi, India between 8–9 September 2008, as per the Provisional Agenda item 5 (SEA/HMM/Meet.26/5) also advised the South East Regional Office of the World Health Organization to “Support countries of the SEA Region in the formulation of national action plans, with the focus on concrete public health interventions, and conduct research to that end.” This document will form the backbone to develop the envisioned national action plans.

COP24 special report on health and climate change

3-14 December 2018, Katowice, Poland - In its latest report, WHO highlights health as the biggest issue to be prioritized during COP-24 and provides key recommendations to the negotiators on how to maximize the health benefits of tackling climate change and avoid the worse health impacts of this global challenge. Although there has been hugely positive progress in tackling health and climate change issues, there is a still a long way to go. Millions of people are still exposed to air pollution globally, resulting in 7 million premature deaths every year; 3 billion people still lack access to clean and reliable energy; and nearly a quarter of all deaths worldwide result from people having to live or work in unhealthy environments. Unless significant changes are made and stronger action taken, we are risk of failing to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs.

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