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Climate Change Threatens Europe's Health Sector - Experts

Health experts at the 19th United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Warsaw, Poland, have warned that health-related impacts of Climate Change pose the biggest global health threat of the 21st Century.
Dr Loius Newport, Sceintfic Policy Manager Climate Change and Adpatation.

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Health experts at the 19th United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Warsaw, Poland, have warned that health-related impacts of Climate Change pose the biggest global health threat of the 21st Century.

 

The experts argue that up until now, an average American, British in London or any European view the chances of an anopheles mosquito buzzing at their beds as a dream. To such people, the possibility that they would suffer from Deng malaria when they have not visited Africa sounds impossible.

 

But experts say that both Europe and America could be attacked by these diseases as World Health Organisation (WHO) warns them to take action to prevent mosquito-borne diseases as a result of Climatic Changes.

 

They say Dengue Malaria that used to exist in countries like Mexico and Argentina is now a reality with an estimated 600 patient increase during the period between 2001 and 2007.

 

Dr. Diarmid Campbell, the team Leader of Climate Change and Health at WHO, told Uganda Radio Network in Warsaw that increase in temperatures due to climate change has spread  Dengue mosquitos to countries like Argentina which had not experienced dengue fever since early 1930s.

 

He says it is unlikely that this will not occur in some of the European countries believed too cold to host anopheles mosquitoes or other disease-transmitting vectors.

 

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Campbell says America is also battling to foot the health-related results of increasing temperatures leading wild fires that have destroyed natural vegetation as well as causing deaths.

 

Dr. Louis Newport, the Chair of European Union Climate Change and Health Group said European Commission is now realising the need for environment and finance ministries to spearhead efforts towards preventing diseases related to climate change.

 

Newport, also the Scientific Policy Manager with UK Department of Health, said almost all the European Union countries have had an increase of number of patients with communicable and respiratory diseases.

 

She says these disease out breaks have been linked to increased use of fossil fuels in the transport sector. A few months ago, the World Health Organisation declared air pollution as some of the carcinogens responsible for some of the cancers globally.

 

Dr Newport told Uganda Radio Network that the participation of health professionals at the UN Climate Change Conference is part of the advocacy to ensure health issues are included on the climate Change agenda. She explained that Climate Change is still looked at in environmental terms yet it's also a major public health concern.

 

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Newport and other experts want health to be handled under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. They warn that any of the ills of the modern world — starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease — are likely to worsen as the world warms.

 

The Nobel Peace Prize- Panelist said global warming is already affecting the way people live and what will happen in the future, including a worldwide drop in income.