Climate Change and Health • “Every species has a climatic niche which is a set of temperature and precipitation conditions in the area where it lives and where it can survive”, (Wiens 2013) • sustained population health requires the life supporting benefits of the ecosystem • Climate stability is vital for food and water resources, freedom from infectious diseases, physical safety and comfort • “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (WHO) • Not biologically reductionist • Context matters • Complex relationship between health, culture, and environment Health • “access to and control over the basic material and nonmaterial resources that sustain and promote life at a high level of satisfaction. Health is not some absolute state of (biological) being but an elastic concept that must be evaluated in a larger sociocultural (and environmental) context” (Baer and Singer 2008) Climate Time Fames of Analysis • Weather-short term events • Climate-long term patterns • Three intervals of time 1. Days—weather 2. Years-climate 3. Generations-climate variability/change Other Concerns • Increase in frequency of extreme weather events • Nutritional scarcity (Changes in food and water supply) • Changes/modifications in vector borne diseases • 7 Billion people producing and consuming at an incredible rate • Complex relationship between humans and the environment • Data from 1993-2012 • 530,000 people died • 15,000 events ; 2.5 trillion dollars • There’s nothing ‘natural’ about health problems associated with climate change • Pre-disaster social issues • Climate change is a ‘threat multiplier’— “it magnifies and exacerbates existing social, economic, political, and environmental trends, problems, issues, tensions, and challenges” • (Crate and Nuttal 2009) • Studies of the health impact of climate change are in effect studies of society and culture -prediction, prevention, response, coping, planning, resources, resources allocation, etc. Vulnerability • “degree to which geophysical, biological, socioeconomic systems, cultural systems are susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse impacts of climate change” (IPCC 2007) • Individual (group) Vulnerability -Poverty -Lack of education -Marginalization/discrimination -Disability Social Determinants of Health (WHO) • The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. • They are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels. • They are responsible for health inequities - the unfair and avoidable differences in health status Such as………… • Individual life style factors • Social and community networks • General socio-economic, cultural, and environmental conditions (Putnam and Galea 2008) • Access to secure and stable resources (Grady and Goldblatt 2012) Mel Brooks • “It’s good to be King”!!!!!! • If you want to live a long, prosperous, healthy life, try not to be born into poverty. Potential Health Effects of Climate Change Climate change: • Weather extremes • Sea level rise • Ecosystem changes HEAT Heat stress, cardiovascular failure SEVERE WEATHER Injuries, fatalities AIR POLLUTION Asthma, cardiovascular disease Respiratory allergies, poison ivy VECTOR-BORNE DISEASES Malaria, dengue, hantavirus, encephalitis, Rift Valley fever WATER-BORNE DISEASES Cholera, cryptosporidiosis, campylobacter, leptospirosis WATER AND FOOD SUPPLY Malnutrition, diarrhea, harmful algal blooms MENTAL HEALTH Anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression, despair Forced migration, civil conflict (Frumkin 2009) ALLERGIES ENVIRONMENTAL REFUGEES With Warming; Vector borne diseases • • • • • • Acceleration of dissemination Faster mutation, inability of humans to adapt Rapid evolution, development Increase in resistance strains Increased virulence Biologically diverse regions(ecosystems)dampen infectious disease transmission Implications for Physical Therapy Practice • Professional responsibility(all areas of practice) • Civic responsibility • Political responsibility References • Baer, H. and M. Singer (2008) Global Warming and the Political Economy of Health; Emerging Crisis and Systemic Solutions, Left Coast Press. • Crate S. and M. Nuttall, eds. Anthropology and Climate Change From Encounters to Actions (2009) • Frumkin, H. (2009) Emerging Health Threats of Climate Change, CDC The Climate Change Project • Grady, M and P. Goldblatt, eds. (2012) “Addressing the social determinants of health; the urban dimension and the role of local government”. WHO. • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007) 4th Annual Report • Putnam, S. and S. Galea (2008) “Epidemiology and the Macrosocial Determinants of Health” Journal of Public Health Policy, 29(3):275-289. References • World Health Organization Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948.