our planet our health


Climate Change and Our Health

When you think of risks to your health, climate change may not easily come to your mind. However, there is a wide body of research contributing to the singular message that the climate change crisis is a health crisis.

The WHO believes that “climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity”. As health is determined by more than just the absence of infirmity and disease, climate change is both a physical and mental health challenge.

WHO reports that the health effects of climate change include the illnesses and deaths caused by extreme heatwaves, floods, zoonotic disorders, and a plethora of other factors.

It is disheartening to note that those who will be the most predisposed to these risks are women, children, those with preexisting health conditions, older populations, and minorities in any society.

It is those who are least responsible for climate change and environmental issues that will be the most vulnerable as their systems are not built to withstand these risks.

The Global impact on the environment

About 24% of global deaths have an environmental basis and these numbers are projected to go up between 2030-2050 when deaths may rise to about 250,000 and be linked to malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea, and heat stress.

The global economy will incur direct costs of up to 2-4 billion annually in health-related sectors. The health stressors already existing take a massive toll on our societies coupled with the growing environmental stressors, there is a probability that health threats already in existence will be intensive, and we will have to face new health threats as the pandemic has revealed.

These numbers and messages by the scientific community and concerned advocates are not meant to incite fear; rather they are a call for action.

It is a push to make every individual aware of what our human actions and decisions have the potential to expose planetary and human health too. This is the rationale behind World Health Day 2022 with the theme – Our planet, our Health.

WHO is calling our attention to the need to reimagine a world that is sustainable for our health and keeps well-being at its helm. As a campaign, it sends the message that we each have a role to play in this future.

We are all key players in building back a society where our cities are livable, our air is breathable, and the ocean and our lands are free of pollution and sustainable. We all can be the change we need to see and the question is how?

What we can do for our planet and health

  1. Take it one step at a time. Recognize that you are an individual, and you can make a change. Walk sustainably and be gracious to yourself while embarking on that journey.
  2. Educate yourself. You cannot share without understanding what you are trying to disseminate. Learn about the climate and health crisis and arm yourself with facts and research from authentic sources.
  3. Share and create awareness. Your voice matters and your cause rely on you to the step to speak. Today and always decide to speak up about the environment, health, and why they matter to you and should matter to humanity.
  4. Reuse, reduce and recycle. These sustainability principles will always be helpful tools when taking action for the planet and health.
  5. Volunteer and contribute your time and resources to organizations protecting our planet and our health.
  6. Share your story about what you are doing to contribute to the fight for our planet and our health.
  7. Inspire others by being an example and taking climate action.

Remember that little drops of water make the mighty ocean. It takes every single individual to realize that the power to facilitate change lies within them.

Today and every day that comes after let us have the courage to advocate for our planet and our health.

We are the change-makers of now and we have the power to build back better for our future and for now.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *