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The effect of climate change on health

Introductions and definitions

Climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity

  • In 2016 the World Health Organisation (WHO) published a report showing that just under a quarter of all human deaths (13.7 million people) were due to environmental factors.

Infographic describing the Environmental impacts on health: what is the big picture? Fact in 2016 24 percent of all global deaths are linked to the environment. That is roughly 13.7 million deaths a year. Where is it happening? There were 4.1 million deaths recorded in South-East Asia; 3.6 million deaths in the Western Pacific region; 2.5 million deaths in Africa; 1.4 million deaths in Europe; 1.1 million deaths in the Americas and 984 thousand deaths in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Alt text WHO Preventing disease through healthy environments 2016

  • A recent article in the United Nations News reported that extreme weather has caused two million deaths, at a cost $4 trillion over last 50 years (World Meteorological Organisation, WMO).
  • In 2021 the largest study on of global climate related mortality was published in The Lancet. The authors linked 5 million deaths a year to abnormal temperatures.
  • Children under 5 and adults between the ages of 50-75 years old are most impacted by the environment in which they live. Globally, approximately 1.6 million children under the age of 5 die from lower respiratory infections and diarrhoeal diseases.
Share some thoughts on this step with your fellow learners. Are you surprised by the data presented above?
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How to Drive Sustainable Healthcare: Educate, Engage, and Empower

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