Malawi Lacks Research Linking Human Health and Climate Change

Lilongwe — National Coordinator for Civil Society on Climate Change (CISONECC), Julius Ng'oma has expressed concern over the country's lack of research to link human health and climate change.

He said proper research on the link between human health and climate change was important as regards to the predictability of how some micro-organisms that affect humans develop resistance to medication over time.

Ng'oma was speaking on Friday at Mponela in Dowa, during a CSOs, Academia, Research Institutions advocacy meeting on human health and climate change.

He said it was high time human health and climate change started to be discussed across different sectors in the country with the aim of building bigger and stronger interventions towards adaptation to climate change related human health impact.

The National Coordinator gave an example of how the country has advanced in developing interventions of climate change resilience and adaptation in the agricultural sector.

"Although there has been a discussion on climate change over the years, some elements have not been highlighted in terms of planning and incorporation, this is the case of climate change and human health.

"The working and discussion cycles of the two in the civil society and even in the government departments have not been clearly highlighted," he said.

Ng'oma said after a proper scrutiny of the topic, the Ministry of Health and CSOs with funding from the World Bank organized the meeting, with the aim of hearing views from different angles so that they could consolidate all efforts being done on the topic.

"We want to create a multi stakeholder platform to be discussing climate and human health so that we can create a link between the two," he said.

Coordinator for Human Health and Climate Change at the Ministry of Health, Hendricks Mgodie said the Ministry realizes the importance of linking human health and climate change.

He said CSOs and the government need to work together and come up with proper research to support the available data on the topic.

Mgodie said although there was no clear data supporting the impact of climate change on human health, it is assumed that climate change has direct negative impact on communicable diseases such as Malaria and Cholera.

"When temperatures are rising we record more cases of malaria in the country. Another example is when some parts of the country get hit by floods, such areas record more cases of diarrhoea and even worse cholera cases," he said.

The Coordinator said government needs CSOs to play an advocacy role, to join hands and research further on the topic so that clear interventions should be made.

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