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Nigeria: How Climate Change Crisis Is Worsening Nigeria’s Health Burden

Nigeria: How Climate Change Crisis Is Worsening Nigeria’s Health Burden

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Stakeholders have stressed the importance of climate-friendly policies as Nigeria faces an increasing burden of non-communicable disease due to environmental crisis.

The 2022 World Health Day theme: “Our planet. Our health” draws attention on the connection between the planets and our health. As the number of non-communicable infectious diseases and climate-related problems rises, so does the burden.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), climate change has already been affecting health in a variety of ways. These include increasing temperatures, rising sea levels and changing rainfall patterns.

According to the global health organization, more than 13 million deaths annually worldwide are caused by preventable environmental causes. This includes the climate crisis.

The organisation fears that climate change is affecting many of the social determinants of good and healthy living, such as income, equality, access to healthcare, and support structures.

Alexander Chimbaru (WHO deputy country representative for Nigeria), stated that climate change has direct consequences on key determinants such as health. He said that it is negatively impacting air quality, water security, food security, human habitat, and shelter.

He stated that statistics show that non-communicable disorders (NCDs), account for a growing share of Africa’s burden.

“In Africa, NCDs are expected to surpass communicable diseases, maternal and neonatal conditions, and nutritional conditions, to become the leading cause death by 2030. COVID-19 and spiraling obesity, diabetes, hypertension rates add to the challenge, making it urgent for multi-sectoral solutions.

The minister of state, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora spoke at the World Health Day. He noted that the current environmental crises, including climate change, avoidable polluting, food and drinking waterborne diseases, emerging or reemerging infectious disease, and extreme weather events, are becoming more difficult to ignore.

He said that the environmental crisis has caused non-communicable illnesses to worsen, enhancing an environment where infectious diseases can flourish, worsening air quality and food and water scarcity, and a worsening mental health condition.

Mamora spoke out about the health implications, stating that it primarily affects the elderly and vulnerable population disproportionately, especially those in low-income communities, children, and people with existing health conditions.

The minister cited WHO to say that approximately 80 percent of climate change impacts many children. It also affects access to healthcare delivery services, and disrupts primary care infrastructure, including health care.

care utilities, ambulatory health services, and communications systems are all essential to emergency medical treatment.

He also said that hospital supply chains might be affected by disruptions. This could lead to shortages in essential medicines, vaccines, or medical devices.

The minister stated that in line with World Health Day, the government will gather experts, policymakers and stakeholders to form a committee to discuss the key scientific issues to improve and benefit from a healthy planet and respect for the integrity and diversity of living creatures.

He stated that the Federal Ministry of Health will examine the need for strategic ideas. This should include prioritising long-term decision-making to stabilize the welfare and security of Nigerians as well as their environment. It should also prioritize efforts that will protect the environment and health of the private sector and other socioeconomic organisations.