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10:51 pm | February 27, 2024
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the health sector is at greatest risk from climate change
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The health sector is at greatest risk from climate change

The health sector is at greatest risk from climate change

The World Health Organization (WHO) has named climate change as the single greatest health threat facing humanity. Extreme temperatures, air pollution, and the increased spread of infectious diseases are some of the reasons.

According to the WHO, average temperature rise must be kept within the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees Celsius in this decade as compared to the pre-industrial time to avoid catastrophic human health impacts and millions of climate change-related deaths.

The United Nations expressed concern this week that the world is on track to warm by 2.9 degrees Celsius this century under current national carbon emissions plans.

While no one is completely safe from the effects of climate change, experts fear that women, children, the elderly, migrants, and people in least-developed countries that emit the least greenhouse gases will be most at risk.

Extreme temperature

This year is widely feared to be the hottest temperature on record. As global warming continues, more frequent and intense heat waves are feared.



More than 70,000 heat-related deaths are believed to have occurred in Europe last summer, researchers said this week.

The Lancet Countdown, a watchdog on climate change and researchers, reported that people worldwide were exposed to an average of 86 days of deadly temperatures last year.

Air pollution

About 99 percent of the world’s people breathe air that exceeds WHO’s air pollution guidelines. Air pollution from burning fossil fuels causes over 4 million deaths globally every year, according to WHO estimates. It increases the risk of respiratory disease, stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes, and other health problems.

These risks can be compared to tobacco. PM2.5 particulate matter is partly responsible for these damages. Most of the PM2.5 particles come from fossil fuels. With the breath, these tiny particles enter the lungs, from where they mix with the blood.

Deaths from air pollution have decreased as fossil fuel usage has dropped by 16% since 2005. The Lancet Countdown stated that the reduction is due to efforts to minimize the impact of burning coal.

Infectious disease



Climate change can cause mosquitoes, birds, and mammals to escape their traditional habits. There is a risk of spreading infectious diseases through them. Due to climate change, mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and West Nile virus are at risk of widespread spread

Psychologists warn that higher temperatures could worsen mental health issues like worry, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, especially for those who already struggle with these conditions.

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