Likewise, vaccines against cholera, introduced in , have proven to be up to 90 percent effective against the disease. However, even as vaccine coverage continues to grow, the population remains at risk for cholera and other emergent threats. Only 58 percent of the population has access to safe water and only 28 percent has access to basic sanitation.
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These conditions worsen in the wake of natural disasters. Hurricane Mathew in triggered spikes in cholera and other waterborne diseases, especially diarrhea, the second leading cause of death among children. Since the late s, the erosion of waterways, loss of habitats and destruction of agricultural land have fueled the importation of cheap, processed foods. Rice and pasta have replaced a diet once rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The high-sugar, low-nutrition foods contribute to the dual health burdens of obesity and under-nutrition.
These trends are ongoing, but they are exacerbated by the disastrous shocks of extreme weather events , which are made more likely by climate change. As Hurricane Matthew came ashore, it decimated fishing villages and tore through farming communities, killing livestock, uprooting crops and denuding backyard fruit trees. The United Nations estimated that , people suffered food shortages.
Haiti is often cast as behind the global curve. But as a reflection of the dangerous intersection of climate change, poverty and ill health, it is in fact predictive of what is to come in the rest of the world. Haiti teaches us that our own health is not bound up simply in the present decisions we make about health care systems but rather more broadly situated in the changing natural environment. Closing the access gap has been a long battle and the gains cannot be underestimated. Yet the challenge ahead is even more daunting.
Whereas increasing access has centered on extending health care technologies to underserved populations, closing the vulnerability gap will require approaches that extend beyond the health sector and national borders. In the past year, the health care debate in the U. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has left the Paris climate accord and unraveled environmental protections for national and transnational corporations — with little resistance from health advocates. The number of days where the temperature exceeds 25 degrees Celsius is expected to increase between 40 and percent by A division of the.
Local councils declare a climate emergency Environment Canterbury and Christchurch City Council have both declared a climate emergency during May Submissions close on Tuesday 16th July News and Events News Events. Analyses of the effects of global change on human health and welfare and human systems. A Report by the U. Gamble, J. Ebi, F. Sussman, T. Wilbanks, Authors. EPA Air Quality Trends. Accessed March 1, NRC Advancing the Science of Climate Change. National Research Council.
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A brief review of global climate change and the public health consequences
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Climate change can have a range of impacts on physical, mental, and community health. A warmer climate is expected to increase the risk of illnesses and death from extreme heat and poor air quality. Climate change will likely increase the frequency and strength of extreme events such as floods, droughts, and storms that threaten human health and safety.
Climate changes may expose more people to diseases. Some groups of people e. The report finds that: Climate change is a significant threat to the health of the American people. Climate change can affect human health in two main ways: first, by changing the severity or frequency of health problems that are already affected by climate or weather factors; and second, by creating unprecedented or unanticipated health problems or health threats in places or times of the year where they have not previously occurred.
Every American is vulnerable to the health impacts associated with climate change, but some populations will be especially affected. These groups include the poor, some communities of color, limited English-proficiency and immigrant groups, indigenous peoples, children and pregnant women, older adults, vulnerable occupational groups, people with disabilities, and people with medical conditions.