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WHO Side-Event Discusses Improving Climate Resilience of Public Health Systems

WHO3 December 2012: Speakers at a side event held at the margins of the Doha Climate Change Conference, co-organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of Norway, discussed the challenges that climate change presents to public health, and presented recent and ongoing initiatives to build capacity in assessing and addressing climate risks to health.

The event aimed at placing climate risks in the broader context of a sustainable development approach to safeguarding and improving health, which includes efforts to guarantee that health systems are resilient to climate and other shocks. Speakers at the side-event stressed challenges such as: addressing climate-sensitive health risks; increasing health equity; integrating health and adaptation; and planning for resilience in the long-term.

The event also featured presentations on initiatives and country case studies from Liberia, Uganda and Bangladesh, as well as on the needs and challenges faced by women. Several speakers stressed the value of the Atlas of Health and Climate, a joint publication between WHO and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which provides scientific information on the connections between weather and climate and major health challenges, such as diseases of poverty or emergencies arising from extreme weather events and disease outbreaks. [IISD RS Coverage of the Side Event] [WHO Side Event Concept Note] [Publication: The Atlas of Health and Climate]