CLIMATE CHANGE impacts human health
Over the last 50 years, the global climate is changing as the earth becomes warmer. Human activities have released sufficient quantities of carbon dioxide and green house gases to affect global climate.
The country is experiencing the significant impacts of climate change in the form of changing weather pattern, rising sea level and more extreme weather events, such as Kashmir floods (2014), Uttarakhand flash floods (2013), Tsunami (2004) are some vivid examples. Globally, an estimated 12.6 million deaths are caused by avoidable environmental risk factors every year.
JP Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Chairman of the Indian Red Cross Society recently flagged off relief material to the flood affected families in Assam, Manipur and Gujarat.
“We have released the first batch of relief material worth around Rs 3.15 crore containing medicines, mosquito nets, clothes, etc, and will soon send the second batch as well. We will make sure that there is adequate supply of relief material and whoever needs it is reached”, Nadda had said while flagging off the relief material.
Nadda further said that the Red Cross units of Assam, Manipur and Gujarat
through their volunteers have also initiated immediate response by providing relief supplies to the affected communities from their existing stocks.
The Union Health Minister also expressed his condolences with bereaved families of the landslide related accident in Himachal Pradesh and expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for sending a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to the affected site.
To prevent such mishaps in future JP Nadda requested to Nitingadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, to take necessary steps for averting such accidents. Accordingly measures like soil stabilisation, land protection wall and zeo static and slope stabilisation would be incorporated in the detailed project reports (DPRS) of the major road projects undertaken by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON HUMAN HEALTH
Climate change can affect human health in a number of ways, for instance by changing the severity and frequency of health problems already existing in that area, creating unanticipated health problems in places where they have not previously occurred, disturbing foodproducing ecosystem and increasing the frequency of extreme weather events.
Certain groups in the community are more susceptible to climate change because of their age mainly children and elderly, gender (pregnant women), social structure (indigenous population, poverty, migration) or health conditions.
Many infectious diseases, including water-borne, vector-borne diseases are sensitive to climate and show seasonal variation. Diarrheal diseases are more common during rainy season. Both drought and floods are risk factor for water-borne diseases (cholera, and various diarrhoeal diseases).
Climate change enhances the transmission season and expands the geographical distribution of vector-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria as warmer temperature and humidity favours the breeding of insect vectors.
Climate change brings new and emerging health issues such as heat waves, cold spells and other extreme weather events. Heat stress poses threat to life as it increases the risk of cardiovascular, respiratory and renal diseases. Pollen and other aeroallergen levels are also high in extreme heat which can trigger asthma.
An increase in frequency of extreme events such as storms, floods, droughts, and cyclone directly affects the human health in terms of loss of life and injury and affects indirectly through loss of houses; population displacement; contamination of water supplies; loss of food production; increased risk of epidemics of infectious diseases and damage to infrastructure for provision of health services.
PROTECTING HEALTH FROM CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change is a global challenge that needs the action from all people. In late 2015, to address climate change, more than 190 countries approved Paris Agreement at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris. In the agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to make best efforts to keep it to 1.5 degrees, for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
India laid strong foundations for greater global cooperation on climate action through its pledge for Paris Agreement. India will cut its emissions intensity by 33-35 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030. Promotion of renewable energy by Indian government is a strong commitment towards climate change.
There’s a lot that people can also do to prevent climate change in their daily life, including use of climate friendly transportation, save energy, go solar, harvest rain water, reduce waste and promote urban green spaces, and following many different ways to prevent climate change. People have a much better future in store for them if they act quickly and make significant changes in their lifestyle.
The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Chairman of the Indian Red Cross Society JP Nadda flagging off the relief material to flood affected families in Assam, Manipur and Gujarat, in New Delhi
India laid strong foundations for greater global cooperation on climate action through its pledge for Paris Agreement. India will cut its emissions intensity by 33-35 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030. Promotion of renewable energy by the government is a strong commitment towards climate change