Climate change and health-Health workers on climate, community, and the urgent need for action

Climate change and health: Health workers on climate, community, and the urgent need for action

Reda SadkiGlobal health

As world leaders gathered for the COP28 climate conference, the Geneva Learning Foundation called for the insights of health workers on the frontlines of climate and health to be heard amidst the global dialogue. Ahead of Teach to Reach 10, a new eyewitness report analyses 219 new insights shared by 122 health professionals – primarily those working in local communities across Africa, Asia and Latin America – to two critical questions: How is climate change affecting the health of the communities you serve right now? And what actions must world leaders take to help you protect the people in your care? (Teach to Reach is a regular peer learning event. The tenth edition on 20-21 June 2024 is expected to gather over 20,000 community-based health workers to share experience of climate change impacts on health. Request your invitation here.) Their answers paint a picture of the accelerating health crisis unfolding in the world’s most climate-vulnerable …

Climate Change and Health Perspectives from Developing Countries

Climate change and health: perspectives from developing countries

Reda SadkiGlobal health

Today, the Geneva Learning Foundation’s Charlotte Mbuh delivered a scientific presentation titled “On the frontline of climate change and health: A health worker eyewitness report” at the University of Hamburg’s Online Expert Seminar on Climate Change and Health: Perspectives from Developing Countries. Mbuh shared insights from a report based on observations from frontline health workers on the impact of climate change on health in their communities. Investing in the health workforce is vital to tackle climate change: A new report shares insights from over 1,200 on the frontline Climate change is a threat to the health of the communities we serve: health workers speak out at COP28 The Geneva Learning Foundation, a Swiss non-profit, facilitated a special event “From community to planet: Health professionals on the frontlines of climate change” on 28 July 2023, engaging 4,700 health practitioners from 68 countries who shared 1,260 observations. “93% of respondents believed that …

Visual storytelling impacts of climate change on health

Making the invisible visible: storytelling the health impacts of climate change

Reda SadkiGlobal health

On March 18, 2024, the Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF) hosted a workshop bringing together 553 health workers from 55 countries with TGLF’s First Fellow of Photography and award-winning photographer Chris de Bode. Watch the workshop in English and in French. Poor connectivity? Get the audio-only podcast. The dialogue focused on exploring the power of health workers who are there every day to communicate the impacts of climate change on the health of those they serve. Learn more… The Geneva Learning Foundation’s exploration of visual storytelling began, two years ago, with a simple yet powerful call to action for World Immunization Week: “Would you like to share a photo of your daily work, the work that you do every day?” Over 1,000 photos were shared within two weeks. “We repeated this in 2023, to show that it is people who make #VaccinesWork”, explains Charlotte Mbuh, the Foundation’s deputy director. Watch the 2022 …

The imperative for climate action to protect health and the role of education

The imperative for climate action to protect health and the role of education

Reda SadkiGlobal health

“The Imperative for Climate Action to Protect Health” is an article that examines the current and projected health impacts of climate change, as well as the potential health benefits of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The authors state that “climate change is causing injuries, illnesses, and deaths, with the risks projected to increase substantially with additional climate change.”  Specifically, the article notes that approximately “250,000 deaths annually between 2030 and 2050 could be due to climate change–related increases in heat exposure in elderly people, as well as increases in diarrheal disease, malaria, dengue, coastal flooding, and childhood stunting.” The impacts will fall disproportionately on vulnerable populations, and climate change “could force more than 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030.” The article discusses major exposure pathways that link climate hazards to health outcomes like “heat-related illness and death, illnesses caused by poor air quality, undernutrition from reduced food …

20231211.COP28 Health Pavilion event

Climate change is a threat to the health of the communities we serve: health workers speak out at COP28

Reda SadkiEvents, Global health, The Geneva Learning Foundation

The Geneva Learning Foundation’s Charlotte Mbuh spoke today at the COP28 Health Pavilion in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Watch the speech at COP28… Good afternoon. I am Charlotte Mbuh. I have worked for the health of children and families in Cameroon for over 15 years. I am one of more than 5,500 health workers from 68 countries who have connected to share our observations of how climate is affecting the health of those we serve.  “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.” These are the words of Samuel Chukwuemeka Obasi, a health worker from …

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: On 1 December 2023, TGLF will be publishing a …

Learning from Front-line Health Workers in the Climate Change Era

Learning from Frontline Health Workers in the Climate Change Era

Reda SadkiGlobal health, Writing

By Julie Jacobson, Alan Brooks, Charlotte Mbuh, and Reda Sadki The escalating threats of climate change cast long shadows over global health, including increases in disease epidemics, profound impacts on mental health, disruptions to health infrastructure, and alterations in the severity and geographical distribution of diseases. Mitigating the impact of such shadows on communities will test the resilience of health infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and especially challenge frontline health workers. The need for effective and cost-efficient public health interventions, such as immunization, will evolve and grow. Health workers, approximately 70% of which are women, that provide immunization and other health services will be trusted local resources to the communities they serve, further amplifying their centrality in resilient health systems. Listening to and building upon the experiences and insights of frontline health workers as they live with and increasingly work to address the manifestations of climate change on …

Interplay between climate and health

What does immunization have to do with climate change?

Reda SadkiGlobal health, Thinking aloud

With climate-driven shifts in disease patterns and emerging health threats, the need for a robust immunization infrastructure is more obvious than ever. As the demand for both existing and novel vaccines rises in response to an expanding disease burden and new health threats, immunization staff will inevitably play a key role. Immunization staff, trusted health advisors to communities, already stand as sometimes-overburdened but always critical actors in resilient health systems. These professionals, entrusted with administering vaccines, contribute to preventing disease outbreaks and maintaining population health. Furthermore, their direct engagement with local communities, their intimate understanding of community health concerns, and their role as trusted advisors position them to recognize and respond to emerging health needs. The role of immunization and other primary health care (PHC) staff as health educators becomes increasingly pertinent in a changing climate. By leveraging their experience in working with communities to understand and accept health interventions, …