Climate Change, Health effects and Role of physicians - HHM

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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Climate Change, Health effects and Role of physicians

Climate change has been a problem experienced by people of all ages, countries and regions. If one is asked when he/she witness a Climate change, the answer will not be a past tense but continuous tense will be right for something that is happening right now. How can physicians help during climte change? This will be considered later in this article. 

 Effect of climate change 

Climate change results in a continuous increase in temperature, sea level, destruction of Man's natural Shelter / home. 

 Climate change impact human health through disruption of quality air and water, extreme heat, floods and giving rise to disease outbreaks because there will be proliferation of cyanobacterium and other diseases causing micro organisms which invade drinking water and cause diarrhea and other health problems. 

 Depletion of nutritious fruits and vegetables through destruction by heat - global warming resulting in malnutrition 

 Disruption of ozone layer thereby increasing GreenHouse gases in the earth crust which exposes humans to DNA Structure impairment giving rise to skin and other carcinomas, respiratory and cardiac infarction and other health complications. 

Older adults, pregnant women and young children are adversely affected by climate changes because of their reduced ability to tolerate high temperatures, shortage of water and food. During such time, the mental health and general function of the body is impacted by the changes in environmental conditions. 

Effect of climate change on health

 Policies and Actions targeted towards a reduced climate change. 

Among numerous policies that are in place to help regulate climate change, major considerations are given to two techniques as both are most detrimental to climate reservation. They include ; Reduction in burning fossil fuels. This include operating engines that releases hazardous gases like carbon monoxide which buildups green gases in the earth crust. Rather other methods like bioremediation and biofuels / organic fuels are employed in cooking, transportation and running plants. Cutting trees are prohibited. This act opens up the shield provided by green leavy plants and trees on the earth crust against ultraviolet radiations. To reduce greenhouse gases, planting of trees is encouraged. 

How can Physicians help during climate change? 

 According to a recent article Responding to climate change in BC by Emily Peterson (MPH) and James Lu (MD) on the role of physicians in climate change, they gave suggestions that can help reduce mortality during climate change. Some of the suggestions included That physicians should; 

Be upto date in factors and impacts of climate change so that they can be able to educate patients and other people on the subject. 

 Take preventive measures to reduce emission of greenhouse gasses from hospitals, laboratories or any activity. 

 Increase number of trained experts in the aspect of managing climate change related problems and calling for backup as fast as possible whenever need be. 

Carryout regular test and prognosis to forecast the future health or disease outbreak from a militating agent. 

 Further Reading 

 Emily Peterson and James Lu. 2017. Responding to Climatic Change in BC: What can physicians do?. BCMJ. Council on Health promotion. 59(4). pp227,229