The country representative for the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr Akpaka Kalu has said that climate change leads to malnutrition.
Speaking in a press conference at the Gender Empowerment Grassroots movement yesterday for the commemoration of World Health Day, Dr Kalu noted that, burning of coals and using of other resources heat up the environment and these have effects in the climate condition in the country.
The WHO country representative maintained that, climate change is a reality and that we must be prepared for it, adding that the earth is warming, and the warming is accelerating and human actions are responsible.
He pointed out that, if current warming trends remain uncontrolled, humanity will face more injury, disease and death related to natural disasters and heat waves; higher rates of food borne, vector borne illness and other disease related to air pollution.
“The human health impacts from climate change are further modified by conditions of development, poverty and education, public health infrastructure, land use practices and political stability” said Dr Kalu.
He pointed out that countries with high levels of poverty and malnutrition, weak health infrastructures and or political unrest will be the least able to cope.
Clean water and sanitation; safe and adequate food; immunization; disease surveillance and response; safe and effective disease vector control; and disaster preparedness are all critical components of public health practices that are also adaptations to climate change stated the WHO representative.
Climate change he said, is wide ranging, and effective adaptation will require the building of partnerships to leverage the expertise of government agencies, intergovernmental organisations, industry and professional groups and local communities.
Dr Kalu noted that decisions affecting urban planning, transport, energy supply food production, land use and water resources affect both climate and health.
The environment officer at the Ministry of Lands and Country Planning Mr Edward Bendu said that, our livelihoods depend on our environment.
The theme for this year’s World Health Day is ‘Protecting health from climate change.’