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Climate change and health research 1 |1 | Priorities for climate change and health research Maria Neira, Director Public Health and Environment Department.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate change and health research 1 |1 | Priorities for climate change and health research Maria Neira, Director Public Health and Environment Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate change and health research 1 |1 | Priorities for climate change and health research Maria Neira, Director Public Health and Environment Department

2 Climate change and health research 2 |2 | Background: Growing body of scientific evidence on climate change Increasing global political will Stronger engagement by the health sector

3 Climate change and health research 3 |3 | The Request from 193 National Governments SIXTY-FIRST WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY WHA61.19 Agenda item May 2008 Climate change and health The Sixty-first World Health Assembly, Having considered the report on climate change and health; … requests the Director-General……. ….to continue close cooperation with Member States and appropriate United Nations organizations, other agencies and funding bodies in order to develop capacity to assess the risks from climate change for human health and to implement effective response measures, by promoting further research and pilot projects in this area, including work on: (a) health vulnerability to climate change and the scale and nature thereof; (b) health protection strategies and measures relating to climate change and their effectiveness, including cost-effectiveness; (c) the health impacts of potential adaptation and mitigation measures in other sectors such as marine life, water resources, land use, and transport, in particular where these could have positive benefits for health protection; (d) decision-support and other tools, such as surveillance and monitoring, for assessing vulnerability and health impacts and targeting measures appropriately; (e) assessment of the likely financial costs and other resources necessary for health protection from climate change;

4 Climate change and health research 4 |4 | The current situation Research on climate change and health is increasing rapidly, but lags far behind more traditional risk factors. Need for applied research programmes to support decisions in the field, enhance health, and health equity.

5 Climate change and health research 5 |5 | The MADRID AGENDA Defining the Global Research Agenda for Climate Change and Health October 2008 > top global researchers discuss way forward

6 Climate change and health research 6 |6 | I: Understanding the risks Improved evaluation of current climate-related health risks, rather than an exclusive focus on very long timeframes. Identification of sensitive populations and life stages. Quantification of the fraction of morbidity/mortality attributable to climate hazards, and to climate change. Better assessment of neglected climate-health linkages. WHO SEARO. © Shehzad Noorani/Still Pictures

7 Climate change and health research 7 |7 | II: Identifying the best interventions Systematic reviews of the evidence-base for existing interventions. Methodological research to improve analytical tools for cost-effectiveness analysis. Protection of handwashing against diarrhoea, highlighting studies in water-stressed situations. Adapted from Curtis V, Cairncross S. 2003; Lancet Inf Dis 3:

8 Climate change and health research 8 |8 | III:Guiding health-promoting decisions in other sectors Improved methods for assessment of health implications of decisions in other sectors. Health implications of climate change mitigation: energy and transport sectors. Health implications of climate change adaptation: water, food and agriculture sectors. Improved integration of climate change mitigation, adaptation and health through "Settings-based" research. Connections between energy and health; Quantified links shown as solid lines. Gohlke et al, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2007.

9 Climate change and health research 9 |9 | IV: Improving decision-support Research to improve vulnerability and adaptation assessments. Improvement of operational predictions. Improved understanding of decision-making processes. Observed malaria cases (black line) vs. predicted from climate-base model (blue dotted line) in Debrezeit, highland Ethiopia. Teklehaimanot et al., Malaria Journal, 2004

10 Climate change and health research 10 | V: Estimating the costs of protecting health from climate change. Definition of harmonized methods to estimate costs and benefits. Assessment of the health costs of inaction and the costs of adaptation. Improved economic assessment of the health cobenefits of climate change mitigation. WHO SEARO. © Shehzad Noorani /Majority World / Still Pictures

11 Climate change and health research 11 | Implementing the agenda Support an iterative process for reviewing and adapting research priorities Establish a virtual forum on climate change and health research. Establish expert panels to provide oversight, develop guidance and tools Build capacity for climate change and health research, with a focus on developing countries.


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