Cholera

19 December 2007

Climate change poses health risks: WHO

Millions more people will be at risk from illnesses such as malaria and diarrhoea in a warming world beset by heat waves and water shortages, the World Health Organization said.

0
Millions more people will be at risk from illnesses such as malaria and diarrhoea in a warming world beset by heat waves and water shortages, the World Health Organization said.

Climate experts say rising temperatures and heat waves will increase the number of heat-related deaths, while higher ozone levels from pollution will mean more people suffering from cardio-respiratory disease.

A warming world would also mean the spread of vector-borne and pathogenic diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and cholera.

Less water, less sanitation
"Some of the major killers are climate sensitive," Maria Neira, the World Health Organization's director for public health and the environment, said at climate talks in Bali.

"We are concerned about malnutrition related to lack of agricultural production, we are concerned about diarrhoea due to water scarcity and sanitation, and about seeing an increase in dengue and malaria and their appearance in areas where it was not present," she said.

Neira told the climate talks on the Indonesian resort island of Bali a 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature would lead to an 8 percent increase in the incidence of diarrhoea.

The 190-nation UN climate meeting is seeking to launch two years of formal negotiations meant to end with agreement on a broad new UN pact to fight global warming, which is linked with rising sea levels, floods and melting glaciers. - (Sugita Katyal/Reuters Health)

December 2007

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.