Fwd [chifa] Child health and climate change

21 November, 2019

Below is a message from Tony Waterston, lead moderator of our global child health forum CHIFA.

Join CHIFA: http://www.hifa.org/join/join-chifa-child-health-and-rights

Best wishes, Neil (HIFA moderator)

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Dear CHIFA members

The Lancet has recently published its annual Countdown report on health and climate change and there is much here of great importance to child health professionals.

The report is publicised in the Guardian newspaper here

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/13/climate-crisis-will-...

and the full report is available here

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)32596-6/fulltext

A chilling paragraph from the executive summary reads -

'A child born today will experience a world that is more than four degrees warmer than the pre-industrial average, with climate change impacting human health from infancy and adolescence to adulthood and old age. Across the world, children are among the worst affected by climate change. Downward trends in global yield potential for all major crops tracked since 1960 threaten food production and food security, with infants often the worst affected by the potentially permanent effects of undernutrition (indicator 1.5.1). Children are among the most susceptible to diarrhoeal disease and experience the most severe effects of dengue fever. '

and more -

'Through adolescence and beyond, air pollution—pprincipally driven by fossil fuels, and exacerbated by climate change—damages the heart, lungs, and every other vvital organ. These effects accumulate over time, and into adulthood, with global deaths attributable to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2·5) remaining at 2·9 million in 2016 (indicator 3.3.2) and total global air pollution deaths reaching 7 million.'

Clearly, the climate emergency outstrips all other health determinants in the urgent requirement for action, and hopefully health professionals can be at the forefront of making the necessary changes as well as advocating for political direction in our own country and beyond.

Tony Waterston

CHIFA profile: Tony Waterston is a retired consultant paediatrician who worked mainly in the community in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. He spent 6 years working in Zambia and Zimbabwe and directed the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Diploma in Palestinian Child Health teaching programme in the occupied Palestinian territories. He was an Editor of the Journal of Tropical Pediatrics and is on the Executive Committee of the International Society for Social Pediatrics. His academic interests are child poverty, advocacy for child health and children's rights. He is currently the lead moderator of CHIFA. www.chifa.org<http://www.chifa.org/> He is also a member of the HIFA Steering Group. www.hifa.org/people/steering-group<http://www.hifa.org/people/steering-group> www.hifa.org/support/members/tony

Email: Tony.Waterston AT newcastle.ac.uk