Doctors warn: We are in a health emergency – health

Doctors warn: We are in a health emergency – health

More than 200 medical journals published a joint editorial on Thursday. In it, a group of authors calls for recognition that climate change and the loss of biological diversity are inseparable and must be addressed together. This is the only way to preserve people’s health and prevent a global catastrophe, it says. The World Health Organization (WHO) must declare a global health emergency, in the jargon of the UN organization “public health emergency of international concern”. It is the WHO’s highest warning level, which currently only applies to the threat of polio.

When doctors focus on climate change and… Species extinction They only appear to be moving beyond the boundaries of their area of ​​expertise. The group led by Chris Zielinski from the UK Health Alliancean association of medical facilities and institutions in Great Britain.

“If these events occur, the impact on global health would be catastrophic”

“Rising temperatures, extreme weather events, air pollution and the spread of infectious diseases are some of the biggest health threats exacerbated by climate change,” says the editorial, which appears in the magazines, among others BMJ, The Lancet and JAMA was published, which is one of the most frequently cited journals in the world. “Even if we could keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, we could still cause catastrophic health damage by destroying nature.” From the point of view of most experts, achieving the 1.5 degree target has now become illusory anyway, as very few countries are making sufficient efforts to reduce their net greenhouse gas emissions to zero quickly enough.

Due to changes in land use, tens of thousands of animal species now live closer to humans than in previous decades, it goes on to say. Even without global warming, this would lead to an “increased exchange of pathogens,” which in turn could lead to new diseases and pandemics. “People’s loss of contact with the natural environment and decline in biodiversity are associated with increases in non-communicable, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, as well as metabolic, allergic and neuropsychiatric disorders,” it continues. If the agreed climate and species protection goals are not achieved, ecosystems would collapse. “If these events occur, the impact on global health would be catastrophic.”

For the WHO to declare a global health emergency, the following conditions must be met: public health Threatening situation must be serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected, have public health implications beyond national borders and require immediate international action. The editorial’s writing group recognizes that climate change and biodiversity loss are neither sudden nor unexpected, “but they are certainly serious and unusual. We therefore call on WHO to make this statement before or at the 77th World Health Assembly in May 2024 .”

Is there any point in putting the world on a permanent health alert? In the end it would above all be a political signal. “Health professionals are highly trusted by the public and have a central role to play in conveying this important message,” said Kamran Abbasi, editor-in-chief of BMJin a press release from the Journal: “The Climate crisis and biodiversity loss both harm human health and are linked. That’s why we have to look at them together.”

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