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Ghana risks 2 million deaths from extreme weather conditions – World Bank report

World Bank Report Ghana

The country risks the death of two million people in the next thirty years from extreme weather conditions like floods and drought if measures are not instituted to combat climate change, a new World Bank report on the impact of climate change on country’s health sys­tems has revealed.

Titled ‘Climate and Health Vul­nerability Assessment (CHVA)’ for Ghana was a collaborate study led by the School of Public Health of the University of Gha­na and stakeholders from various Ministries, said the deaths could occasioned by diseases, high tem­peratures, flood, and droughts.

The objective of the study was to assess the impact of climate risks on health and health systems. It revealed that Ghana was highly vulnerable, especially to ill­ness like malaria, diarrhoea disease and health issues related to heat, air pollution, and infectious diseases are on the rise with the elderly, youth and children being particular­ly vulnerable.

Calling for urgent action to strengthen the resilience of the country’s health system against the adverse effects of climate change, the report underscored the need for the strengthening of primary healthcare infrastructure, integrating climate considerations into health policies and programmes, and increasing investment to mitigate the impact climate change on the country.

Speaking at the launch of CHVA in Accra on Friday, Sustainable De­velopment Programme Leader of the World Bank, Naila Ahmed, said the report was to “shed light on the intricate interplay between climate change and its impact on public health in Ghana.”

She also said the report revealed that the “elderly, women and chil­dren” and those living in the rural areas were vulnerable to climate change, saying those individuals disproportionately affected by the adverse health outcomes exacer­bated by climate change, further deepening existing socio-economic disparities.

The Lead Author of the CHVA, Professor Mawuli Dzodzomenyo, who is the Head of the Depart­ment of Biological, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health of the University of Ghana in a presenta­tion on the CHVA said there was not much data on climate change in relation to health, hence the study.

“The CHVA and research on climate change and also contributes to the development of climate-re­silient health systems. By analysing vulnerabilities and adaptive capac­ities, decision-makers can identify areas for improvement and allocate resources effectively,” he said.

The Chief Director of Ministry of Health, Alhaji Hafiz Adams, in remarks made on his behalf said the Ministry of Health had commenced work on the validation and harmon­isation exercise in order to generate evidence-based information for the development of the Health and Climate Change Policy and Health National Adaptation Plan (HNAP), and also said the CHVA would be an invaluable document for the development of the HNAP.

The Dean of the School of Pub­lic Health, College of Health Sci­ences of the University of Ghana, Professor Kwasi Torpey, launched the report.

Source: Ghanaian Times

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