Climate change harms public health, increase diseases, warns FDHRD’s report

Ahram Online , Monday 6 Jun 2022

The Unit of Research and Studies at the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) has stressed that factors resulting from climate change are negatively affecting public health through a litany of causes including the spread of disease.

Huge funds are needed to off-set the impact of climate change and pollution photo: Reuters


The Egyptian non-governmental organisation issued on Monday a new report entitled “The Impact of Climate Change on Public Health in Egypt.”

The repercussions of climate change, including heat waves, hurricanes, and droughts, are increasing vulnerability to diseases spread by insects and water, the FDHRD's report said.

The report said that climate change contributes to increasing hunger and affecting healthy aging, and the spread of some non-communicable diseases. These include heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.

Climate change also affect the immunity against these diseases, the FDHRD said, highlighting the incidence rates of these diseases in Egypt over the past years.

The report also noted that some infectious diseases are associated with climate change, including those that increase mortality rates.

Nearly two-thirds of human and animal pathogens are sensitive to climate. This includes vector-borne diseases (VBDs) that are mainly transmitted by arthropod vectors such as the mosquitoes, which are common in Egypt and causes West Nile fever, it noted.

Additionally, the climate crisis is causing widespread psychological stress, including severe anxiety among individuals aged 16-25, and affecting daily work performance, FDHRD's report noted.

The impacts of climate change also extends to people with disabilities, it added, noting that the global phenomena "directly and disproportionately" threatens their health rights due to rising temperatures, rising air pollutants and increased exposure to extreme weather events including heat waves, fires and floods.

The report said the climate changes is leading to disruption in food security through reduced crop and livestock production, which causes higher food prices resulting from increased production costs.

Food security in Egypt has been affected faster than global expectations, the reported said, adding that climate change threatens to flood the Nile Delta in Egypt due to sea level rise.

The report concluded that the states have obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, and this includes obligations to mitigate domestic gas emissions, and to protect citizens from the harmful effects of climate change.

Egypt's hosting of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh next November is an opportunity to address the implications of climate change on public health in southern countries that lack the infrastructure for health sectors, it added.

In May, Egypt launched the National Strategy for Climate Change 2050, with the aim of addressing the repercussions of climate change in a way that contributes to improving the quality of life for Egyptians, achieving sustainable development, sustainable economic growth and preserving natural resources and ecosystems.

In January 2022, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said Egypt only produces 0.6 percent of the world’s emissions and yet is among the most susceptible to the impacts of climate change.

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