A BRIEF STATEMENT (5 Minutes) Community-Based Adaptation to Health Effects of Climate Change in Africa By Prof. Paul Omondi (24th-26th November, 2014) TOPIC JUSTIFICATION Climate change is an issue which involves crosscutting programs that will require strategic ideas and application of knowledge to inform health care financing, human resources for health, community systems strengthening and the post 2015 health agenda. CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH IN AFRICA (1) In Africa, the potential health effects of climate change on human health is real and of great concern (2) Literature including IPCC AR4 and other reports has identified a potentially wide range of human health effects from climate change in Africa. These conclude that Africa faces the highest global health burdens of climate change, from: CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH IN AFRICA Cont.. (a) The shift or increase in incidence of malaria, diarrhoea, schistosomiasis, as well as other vector borne diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis (tick) and Trypanosomiasis (Tsetse fly), noting that these changes could be positive for some regions or time periods. (b) Heat related mortality and morbidity. CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH IN AFRICA Cont.. (c) Increased incidence of deaths/injuries/disease linked to the coastal and inland flooding, as well as secondary events from these floods associated with water borne diseases, such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery. (d) Indirect effects associated with changes in the risk of under-nourishment and malnutrition, and wider effects between economic and development levels and health. CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH IN AFRICA Cont.. (3) It should also be noted that climate change will affect individuals, communities, and societies differently, but most vulnerable will be the elderly – older people. This cohort will be most affected, for example, by heat wave and other diseases. (4)There are also indirect health effects that may include anxiety and depression. CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH IN AFRICA Cont.. (5) The World Health Organization (1990) and many other literature consider the consequences of global warming as the most pressing problem of the 21st century, the post 2015 and a serious threat to sustainable development. Africa would be the most affected not only because of being tropical climate, but also because of its high level of vulnerability – lack of infrastructure health facilities and other problems. THE SITUATION IN KENYA (1) In Kenya, one of the main impacts of climate change on human health identified by the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) is that diseases such as malaria, cholera, ebola, lyme disease, plague, tuberculosis, sleeping sickness, yellow fever, and Rift valley fever are expected to spread as temperatures rise and precipitation patterns change. (2) In addition, during floods, diseases such as typhoid, amoeba, cholera, and bilharzias will reach epidemic levels (Government of Kenya, 2010). Experts say that climate change is already fueling Malaria in Kenya. COMMUNITY-BASED ADAPTATION (1) Adaptation to climate change health risks should take place at the individual, family, community, and government levels. (2) Adaptation here is used to refer to the process of designing, implementing, mentoring, and evaluating strategies, policies, and measures intended to reduce climate change-related health effects. It implies prevention or real or perceived health effects. CONCLUDING REMARKS (Community-Based Approaches) (1) Grassroots actions undertaken at the community level (2) Increased research on climate change health effects (3) Push for global fund for health effects of climate change (4) Amref to create a climate change unit for research and action (5) All stakeholders scholars, programme leaders, advocates, professionals, universities and other research institutions, NGOs, and individual experts in the health sector. (6) Increased sharing of knowledge (which is still limited), experience and scientific research results on climate change and human health in Africa.