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WHO Publishes Fact Sheet on Climate Change and Health

January 2010: The World Health Organization (WHO) published its Fact Sheet N°266 on “Climate change and health,” which includes sections on: the impact of climate change on health; extreme heat; natural disasters and variable rainfall patterns; patterns of infection; measuring health effects; sectors of the population at risk; and the WHO response.

The Fact Sheet highlights, inter alia, that many major killers such as diarrhoeal diseases, malnutrition, malaria and dengue are highly climate-sensitive and are expected to worsen as the climate changes, and that reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) through better transport, food and energy-use choices can result in improved health.

The fact sheet recalls that in 2009, the World Health Assembly endorsed a new WHO workplan on climate change and health, which includes: advocacy (raising awareness that climate change is a fundamental threat to human health); partnerships (coordinating with other UN agencies and ensuring that health is properly represented in the climate change agenda); science and evidence (coordinating reviews of scientific evidence on the links between climate change and health, and developing a global research agenda); and health system strengthening (assisting countries to assess their health vulnerabilities and build capacity to reduce health vulnerability to climate change). [The Fact Sheet] [WHO Workplan on Climate Change and Health]