Health Day; Climate Crisis A Health Crisis

World Health Day' Climate crisis is health crisis

With “climate crisis being a health crisis” in today’s world, the World Health Organisation has urged accelerated action to protect human health and combat the climate crisis at a time of heightened conflict and fragility.

“The climate crisis is a health crisis: The same unsustainable choices that are killing our planet are killing people,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the World Health day that falls on April 7.

On this World Health Day, WHO issued an urgent call for accelerated action by leaders and all people to preserve and protect health and mitigate the climate crisis as part of an “Our planet, our health” campaign marking the organization’s founding day, which falls at a time of heightened conflict and fragility.

Health and social crises

WHO in one of its recent reports pointed out that 99 per cent of people breathe unhealthy air mainly resulting from burning of fossil fuels. Moreover, it also warned that steadily heating world is seeing mosquito spread diseases further and faster than ever before. “Extreme weather events, biodiversity loss, land degradation and water scarcity are displacing people and affecting their health. Pollution and plastics are found at the bottom of our deepest oceans, the highest mountains, and have made their way into our food chain and blood stream. Systems that produce highly processed, unhealthy foods and beverages are driving a wave of obesity, increasing cancer and heart disease while generating up to one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. This health and social crisis is compromising people’s ability to take control over their health and lives,” the WHO said.  

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “we need transformative solutions to wean the world off its addiction to fossil fuels, to reimagine economies and societies focused on well-being, and to safeguard the health of the planet on which human health depends.”

The COVID factor

The WHO said that COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted fault lines of inequity across the world, underlining the urgency of creating sustainable and healthy societies which do not breach ecological limits.

It called for a need to ensure that all people have access to lifesaving and life-enhancing tools, systems, policies and environments.

WHO’s Manifesto for a healthy and green recovery from the pandemic prescribes protecting and preserving nature as the primary source of human health.

It advocates for investing in essential services – from water and sanitation to clean energy in healthcare facilities – ensuring a quick and healthy energy transition; promoting healthy and sustainable food systems; building healthy and liveable cities; and stopping taxpayers’ money from funding pollution.


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