Three weeks ago, I started talking about the famous climate change synonymously known as global warming. The basics of climate change were discussed, including the common causes, which happen to be human propelled also known as anthropogenic causes.
Today, I will firstly discuss the link between global warming and environmental health. Most of what is commonly discussed is the effects of global warming on agriculture; hence, human livelihood and finally offer my thoughts on the future.
It is very important to realise that the current global warming has had and still has huge impacts on the environmental factors which exacerbate the chances of development or spread of diseases among humans.
Firstly, as global warming state in its own naming, has resulted in increases in global temperatures. This has also seen an increase in the levels of ultraviolet rays of the sun reaching the earth. This has primarily been due to depletion of the ozone layer by some gases produced by human activities. These rays if in excess of the normal ranges can lead to skin cancers to people who are very sensitive. And it’s no secret that reports indicate increases in skin cancers now days. It may not be the direct cause but in cancers some of these factors may be there to increase the risk of such development in case one is exposed to a direct cause.
One of the most talked about effects of climate change has been increases in rainfall. Malawi is one of the countries which have seen their fair share of heavy rains attributed to global warming. Last year was an example. And most you know what happened as a result of this.
Firstly, there were heavy floods which brought down people’s houses rendering them homeless and vulnerable to countless diseases. Talk of many latrines which collapsed due to these floods was even confirmed by a government task force overseeing the Global Sanitation Funded project to help increase coverage of sanitation in rural areas.
The same floods left a lot of pools of water as it took time for the water to recede back to the rivers. This prompted heavy breeding of mosquitoes and spread of mosquito borne diseases.
You may also recall that during these floods last year there was heavy congestion in the camps leading to outbreaks of scabies and diarrhoea because people had no access to clean water to wash their bodies and to drink. Even promiscuity was reported in camps. There are so many examples of the effects of global warming on people’s health especially those coming as a result of environmental challenges.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), became aware of this .This apparent relationship forced WHO to develop a Framework for Public Health Adaptation to Climate Change in the Africa region, during its sixty first session held in Yamaussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire in 2011.
The question, however, is; are the agreements made in France to help reduce global warming pragmatic? Consider the fact that countries such as China, India and Brazil are thriving to develop steadily while USA, Britain and Russia among others want to maintain their strong economic grip. All this relies of industries that contribute to global warming. Will these countries accept to scale down the current industrialisation and adopt clean energy which is expensive and still in developmental stages at the expense of economic slump.
I already heard some economists on radios and television who said countries would rather pollute now to develop and clean later. I heard this phrase several times during my studies in the USA. Let’s wait and see if the measures agreed are pragmatic. n