Protecting Health From Climate Change
All countries in the WHO European Region observe an increase in temperature, with projected further significant increases. The type and severity of climate change risks for human health vary widely across the Region.
This initiative of WHO/Europe and the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) aims to protect health from climate change through addressing adaptation, strengthening of health systems and building institutional capacity.
Countries involved are Albania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Uzbekistan.
Preliminary results will be presented at the Fifth Ministerial Conference for Environment and Health (Parma, Italy, 2010).
WHO/Europe coordinates the projects, contributing to the implementation of the WHO workplan on climate change and health. It also provides technical assistance, guidance, training and expertise.
In each country, a multi-sectoral steering committee is being established, and a project coordinator appointed, to coordinate implementation at the national level. Country coordinators will be supported by WHO/Europe. All activities will be implemented in collaboration with the BMU and the national Governments of the seven countries.
Overview of activities
All participating countries will implement joint activities aimed at strengthening health systems by:
* building capacity through national training workshops and stakeholders involvement;
* carrying out national impact, vulnerability and adaptation assessment;
* developing adaptation plans or specific health systems adaptation plans.
In addition, based on the needs and priorities identified during the preparation of the project, country-specific actions include:
* development of heat-health action plans (in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia);
* water treatment cost-effective technology for hospitals (in Tajikistan);
* improved air quality and respiratory disease management (in Uzbekistan);
* energy efficient health services through the pilot testing of installation of solar energy in some hospitals (in Kyrgyzstan and in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia);
* make hospitals safe in emergencies;
* safety of health facilities, emergency medical services and early warning (in Albania);
* contingency planning for basic health services in a permafrost melting affected area (in the Russian Federation).