Health worker voices and agenda at COP28

Before, during, and after COP28: Climate crisis and health, through the eyes of health workers from Africa, Asia, and Latin America 

Reda SadkiEvents, Global health

Samuel Chukwuemeka Obasi, a health professional from Nigeria:

“Going back home to the community where I grew up as a child, I was shocked to see that most of the rivers we used to swim and fish in have all dried up, and those that are still there have become very shallow so that you can easily walk through a river you required a boat to cross in years past.”

In July 2023, more than 1200 health workers from 68 countries shared their experiences of changes in climate and health, at a unique event designed to shed light on the realities of climate impacts on the health of the communities they serve.

Before, during and after COP28, we are sharing health workers’ observations and insights.

Follow The Geneva Learning Foundation to learn how climate change is affecting health in multiple ways:

  • How extreme weather events can lead to tragic loss of life.
  • How changing weather patterns are leading to crop failures and malnutrition, and forcing people to abandon their homes.
  • How infectious diseases are surging as mosquitoes proliferate and water sources are contaminated.
  • How climate stresses are particularly problematic for those with existing health conditions, like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  • How climate impacts are having a devastating effect on mental health as people’s ways of life are destroyed.
  • How climate change is changing the very fabric of society, driving displacement and social hardship that undermines health and wellbeing.
  • How a volatile climate is disrupting the delivery of essential health services and people’s ability to access them.
  • We will finish the series with  inspiring stories of how health workers are already responding to such challenges, working with communities to counter the effects of a changing climate.

On 1 December 2023, TGLF will be publishing a compendium and analysis of these 1200 contributions – On the frontline of climate change and health: A health worker eyewitness report. Get the report

This landmark report – a global first – kickstarts our campaign to ensure that health workers in the Global South are recognized as:

  • The people already having to manage the impacts of climate change on health.
  • An essential voice to listen to in order to understand climate impacts on health.
  • A potentially critical group to work with to protect the health of communities in the face of a changing climate.

Before, during, and after COP28, we are advocating for the recognition and support of health workers as trusted advisers to communities bearing the brunt of climate change effects on health.

Watch the Special Event: From community to planet: Health professionals on the frontlines of climate change