Climate and Health

While global warming could provide some benefits locally for example, fewer winter deaths in temperate climates or increased production of food in some areas However, the overall health consequences of climate change are likely to be overwhelmingly negative. Changes in climate impact the environmental and social determinants of health like clean air, safe drinking water in sufficient quantities, adequate food supplies and secure shelter. Moreover, extreme high air temperatures contribute directly to deaths due to respiratory or cardiovascular illness, particularly in older people. In the summer heat wave of 2003 Europe for instance over 70 000 deaths in excess were recorded (UNEP March 2004,). It is also evident that high temperatures increase the level of ozone and other airborne pollutants that can worsen respiratory and cardiovascular illness.

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Globally, the number of weather-related natural catastrophes reported has more than tripled in the past decade. Each year, these catastrophes bring about more than 60000 people dying, mainly in countries that are developing (WHO, 2017, July). Relating to the rising sea levels and increasingly extreme weather conditions, they will destroy houses, medical facilities, and other services that are essential. More than half of people live within 60 km of the sea (Creel, 2003 September). In addition, people could be forced to move this could increase the likelihood of experiencing a range of health-related issues, from mental disorders to communicable illnesses. Variable rainfall patterns are likely to impact the availability of clean water. Insufficient water quality can affect hygiene and increase the chance of contracting diarrheal illness, which kills thousands of children under 5 yearseach year. In extreme circumstances, water scarcity leads to the occurrence of drought and famine.

The frequency and intensity of floods is also increasing. frequency and intensity. The frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation are expected to increase over this century. Floods are a source of contamination for freshwater resources, heighten the danger of water-borne illnesses and can provide breeding ground for the spread of disease-carrying insects, like mosquitoes. They also result in drownings, physical injuries to homes, and disrupt the supply of health and medical care services.

Furthermore, the climatic conditions have a significant impact on water-borne illnesses as well as diseases transmitted by snails, insects, or other cold-blooded animals. Changes in the climate are likely to increase the duration of the transmission season of serious vector-borne illnesses and also alter their geographical distribution. In particular the climate change is predicted to expand the area of China where the snail-borne disease is schistosomiasis (WHO 2009). Malaria is strongly influenced by the climate. Transmission is carried out through Anopheles mosquitoes and malaria is responsible for the deaths of more than 400 000 people every year most of them African children under 5 years old (WHO 2017 April).

In the end, climate change normally affect every population, but some are more vulnerable than other. The inhabitants of small island developing states and in other megacities, coastal areas, and areas of mountainous and polarity are particularly vulnerable. Children, in particular the children of poor countries that are among the most at risk of the health hazards, and are more likely to suffer the negative health consequences.

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