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Healthcare :: WHO to set up task force for checking diseases due to climate

Since climate change and its repercussions are attracting the attention of the World Health Organisation, it is preparing to set up a task force to recommend steps to reduce the potential burden of diseases due to the phenomenon.

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Thursday Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director, South-East Asia Region said, ?We need to create awareness about the impact of climate change on human lives. Health is at the end of the row and we are the consumer of global warming. We have to protect human lives.”

WHOs Deputy Regional Director Poonam Khetrapal Singh has said that there has been direct evidence that climate change impacts human health in the past five years.

Speaking to a News Organisation she added, ?With this in mind, we will be setting up a task force on climate change that will prepare ground for the environment and health ministers meeting in Indonesia in August where the issue will be taken up.”

She further said that India will be part of this task force. The 22-members from 11 countries from the Western Pacific and South East Asian region will be meeting in the first week of July in Kula Lumpur, she remarked.

“Climate change has been acknowledged as one of the major threats to health security. If we start taking measures now, it will just cost one per cent of the world’s GDP, otherwise in ten years time it will go up to five to 20 per cent of the world’s GDP,” Singh said.

“There is a need to reduce green house emissions and the impact on health due to this is not negotiable,” she remarked.

“There is a need to assess country’s health sector vulnerability to climate change. There is also need to rapidly implement adaptation measures to reduce the potential burden of disease from climate change,” she further maintained.

She said UNs Inter-governmental Panel on Climate (IPCC) will be releasing its report on Friday and which is likely to highlight the impact of climate change on humans.

“We need to create awareness among community. We have held one meeting in Mukteshwar (Uttarakhand) and another in Maldives and we are planning more,” Singh said.

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