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DOH conducts climate change and health forum in Eastern Visayas

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
August 5, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY    The Department of Health Center for Health Development in Eastern Visayas is scheduled to conduct a one-day live-out activity on Climate Change for Health on August 26, 2010 at the Leyte Park Hotel, Tacloban City.

DOH 8 Regional Director Edgardo Gonzaga informed that the importance of this activity is to tackle issues on climate change and its impact to human populace.

Because of this, there is a need to pool all the major stockholders in Eastern Visayas to generate participation in intensifying advocacy for climate change, Director Gonzaga said.

The good director said that the participants in this one-day forum are partner agencies and stakeholders and the various health sectors.

Among the participants are the officers and members of the Region Eight Administrators League; Region 8 Disaster Coordinating Council Members; Regional Inter-Agency Committee on Environmental Health representatives; CHD Program Coordinators and staff; chief of hospitals; provincial, city, and municipal health officers; and provincial, city health station inspectors in Eastern Visayas.

Climate change endangers human health, affecting all sectors of society, both domestically and globally. The environmental consequences of climate change, both those already observed and those that are anticipated, such as sea-level rise, changes in precipitation resulting in flooding and drought, heat waves, more intense hurricanes and storms, and degraded air quality, will affect human health both directly and indirectly.

Addressing the effects of climate change on human health is especially challenging because both the surrounding environment and the decisions that people make influence health. For example, increases in the frequency and severity of regional heat waves likely outcomes of climate change have the potential to harm a lot of people.

Certain adverse health effects can probably be avoided if decisions made prior to the heat waves result in such things as identification of vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly and ensured access to preventive measures such as air conditioning. This is a simplified illustration; in real-life situations a host of other factors also come into play in determining vulnerability including biological susceptibility, socioeconomic status, cultural competence, and the built environment.