Building health systems resilience to climate change
AbstractHealth is sensitive to climate change. The risks to health from climate change include mortality and morbidity due to extreme heat, injuries and mortality due to extreme weather events, vector- and waterborne diseases due to changes in the ecosystem, respiratory diseases due to increased emissions, and mental health and nutritional issues. Health-care facilities are also vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events. A well-prepared and responsive health system is crucial for preventing and minimizing the health risks posed by climate change. Member States have recognized these risks and have initiated advocacy and capacity-building efforts, developed health national adaptation plans and conducted a few research studies. The level of response varies in countries based on the availability of funds. Much remains to be done to ensure that climate change is mainstreamed in overall health policy, planning and programming. An informal consultation to prepare for the Ministerial Roundtable on building health systems’ resilience to climate change was held in Male’, Maldives on 14–15 May 2017. All Member States of the WHO South-East Asia Region participated in the consultation. The consultation proposed for a draft Ministerial Declaration and a Framework for Action on Building Health Systems Resilience to Climate Change. The Minister of Health, Maldives circulated the drafts to the other Health Ministers of Health of SEAR for their review and feedback on 20 June 2017. The drafts were presented to the High-Level Preparatory (HLP) for review and recommendations. The recommendations made by the HLP to finalise the Declaration and Framework for Action were: Actions by Member States 1) Provide feedback and convey concurrence on the Draft Declaration and Framework for Action by all Member States by 25 July 2017.2) Share best practices and stories with all Member States by 25 July 2017. 3) Prepare talking points for health ministers for the Ministerial Roundtable at the Seventieth Session of the Regional Committee, taking into account the meeting format and issues to be addressed by the honourable ministers. Actions by WHO 1) Support the Ministry of Health of Maldives in collating feedback and finalizing the Declaration and Framework for Action. 2) Coordinate and communicate with Member States on the final preparations for the Ministerial Roundtable. The Male’ Declaration and Framework for Action for building health systems resilience to climate change are submitted to the Seventieth Regional Committee for its consideration and endorsement.
World Health Organization. Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2017). Building health systems resilience to climate change. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/258551