Climate Changes Health

With scant resources and a tight timeframe—just over a decade—to reach 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets, a “nexus approach” could unlock solutions to multiple challenges simultaneously.
The Lancet commission launched last month embodies this approach, linking universal health coverage, health security, and health promotion. But Renzo Guinto,a Filipino physician and doctor of public health candidate at Harvard, wants the Commission to add a fourth link: climate and health.
Guinto, the sole student on the The Lancet Planetary Health advisory board, argues that global health remains detached from the threat of climate change. The UHC movement, he writes, needs to “climate-proof” healthcare: “ …the way it is financed, the supply of health workers and medicines, access to electricity—so that health systems remain the last system standing in the face of climate disaster.” As climate-sensitive diseases rise, global health security plays a key role as well; disease surveillance systems should be linked to climate monitoring.

And lastly: climate mitigation interventions often support efforts to promote healthy, active lifestyles that can help prevent chronic diseases.

Renzo Guinto for Global Health NOW

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