Global warming weighs on public health: group

  • By Rachael Lin and Liu Tzu-hsuan / Personal Reporter, with a personal editor

Extreme weather events pose risks to human health and put pressure on public health agencies, Taiwan’s Science Media Center said yesterday.

The local branch of the British organization cited a study entitled “Urban climate-health governance: Charting the role of public health in large global city adaptation plans”, published on Friday in the journal PLOS Climate and focusing on global health adaptations to many more and more frequent extreme weather events in recent decades.

Studying adaptation plans in 22 relatively healthy cities, researchers found that 73% involved public health agencies, he said.

Those that involved public health agencies provided more accurate data, warnings and maps, he added.

The study demonstrated the importance of strong climate adaptation plans based on public health expertise, said Lin Yu-kai (林于凱), an associate professor in the Department of Health and Welfare of Taipei University.

Taiwan should seek to improve public awareness of climate and health and provide better weather forecasts, Lin said.

Taiwan needs to implement planned adaptation strategies in a systematic and comprehensive way that can be applied to all environments and groups of people, he said.

Strategies should include plans for the public and private sectors, and focus on protecting vulnerable groups and seek to increase collaboration with medical institutions, Lin added.

Better plans could help protect people and the environment, alleviate the medical and social burden of extreme weather events and prevent irreversible environmental damage, he said.

Taiwan’s climate adaptation planning mainly focuses on health risk and vulnerability assessment, prevention and adaptation planning, and climate and health surveillance and monitoring. , did he declare.

Public health agencies are primarily involved in monitoring and tracking climate health, Lin added.

The government is testing early warning systems for heat and other extreme weather events, he said.

However, the conclusions that can be drawn from the study are limited because it focuses primarily on high-income countries, which makes it difficult to apply the findings in countries with scarcer resources, Lin said.

Another challenge was the availability of comparable data across countries, he added.

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Teresa H. Sadler