Africa’s contribution to global warming is smallest but consequences are ‘comprehensive’: WHO

Climate-related health emergencies are on the rise in Africa, the World Health Organization has said.

Brazzaville:

Climate-related health emergencies are on the rise in Africa, despite the continent contributing the least to global warming, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

According to a new WHO analysis, these climate-related health emergencies account for “more than half of the public health events recorded in the region over the past two decades,” its regional office said in a statement.

Of the public health events recorded across Africa between 2001 and 2021, 56% were climate-related, the UN health agency said.

In Africa, “frequent flooding, water-borne and vector-borne diseases are aggravating health crises,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

“Although the continent contributes the least to global warming, it bears all the consequences,” she added.

On Thursday, the WHO celebrates World Health Day, with the theme this year “Our planet, our health”.

The organization calls on governments to “put human well-being first in all key decisions, stop new fossil fuel exploration and subsidies, tax polluters and implement WHO guidelines on pollution.” air quality”.

In Africa, “diarrheal diseases are the third leading cause of illness and death among children under five,” WHO said in its new analysis.

“A significant proportion of these deaths can be prevented through safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene,” he added.

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Teresa H. Sadler