Climate change threatens world health
BERLIN, Germany: At the third global demonstration against climate change, held at the end of September, the World Health Summit participated in a campaign at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Charité) under the slogan “The climate crisis is a medical emergency”. The demonstration was jointly organized by German general practitioner and author Dr Eckart von Hirschhausen, students of Charité, the Deutsche Allianz Klimawandel und Gesundheit and the action platform Health for Future. Medical staff, nursing staff and students from Charité gathered in the city centre to raise awareness of the health consequences of climate change.
“Climate change is destroying people’s livelihoods and therefore their health. This does not just apply to those who are directly affected by weather catastrophes, drought or heat—this is true for all of us. Healthy people can only exist on a healthy planet,” said Prof. Detlev Ganten, President of the World Health Summit and one of the initial signatories to the call “Health needs climate protection!”, a Health for Future initiative. The goals of the campaign are to raise awareness of the impact of climate change on health and to highlight the responsibility of health professionals in this regard.
The impact of climate change on health will also be one of the key topics at the World Health Summit, which will take place from 27 to 29 October and feature presentations by international experts from science, politics, business and civil society.
One of the speakers at the World Health Summit will be Hirschhausen, co-founder of Health for Future, who said: “Doctors are there to protect lives, to point out health hazards and, if need be, to transmit bad news. And the bad news is that we are destroying the livelihoods of us humans on earth forever. Unfortunately, this is scientifically proven, but by no means is everyone aware of it.”
The World Health Summit, one of the world’s leading conferences on global health issues, will draw 300 speakers and 2,500 participants from 100 nations. More than ten ministers from around the world are expected to attend, as well as the World Health Organization Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the World Bank Vice President for Human Development Annette Dixon.
One of the focal points of this year’s World Health Summit is the impact of climate change on health. Other topics include improving health systems in Africa and around the world, combating antibiotic resistance, digitising healthcare, and implementing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The World Health Summit is held under the high patronage of Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany; Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic; and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. The World Health Summit was founded in 2009 at Charité.