World Earth Day, 22nd April 2022

22 April, 2022

(with thanks to Richard Fitton)

Today is World Health Day,

I note the first paragraph on the Earth Day website:

"In the decades leading up to the first Earth Day [1970], Americans were consuming vast amounts of leaded gas through massive and inefficient automobiles. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of the consequences from either the law or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Until this point, mainstream America remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how a polluted environment threatens human health."

This is curiously US-centric, but it does raise some big questions that I have not seen addressed, especially in relation to LMICs and climate change:

How many people in LMICs are aware that climate change is a major risk to global health?

How many understand the possible implications for them and their children and grandchildren?

How many are aware of climate change injustice, whereby the problem has been caused largely by high-income countries (and now middle-income countries also) but the biggest negative impacts are on low-income countries?

Universal access to reliable information about the health impacts of climate change - in a language and format that people can understand - is as important as universal access to reliable information to diagnose and manage specific diseases.

Best wishes, Neil

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Global Coordinator HIFA,