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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Barbados : Dengue risk linked to climate

Via The Barbados Advocate :

" IT is expected climate change is likely to increase the risks of dengue for millions of people over the coming decades, and Dr. Kathleen Israel of the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) says that the dengue outbreak experienced in this region last year, is perhaps a signal of things to come.

Speaking recently at the launch of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Funded Climate Change Project entitled ‘Piloting Climate Change Adaptation to Protect Human Health’, Dr. Israel explained that it has been well established that some diseases are highly sensitive to temperature and precipitation. It is suggested, she added, that even small temperature increases have the capacity to cause significant increases in diarrheal diseases, especially in the poorest populations of the world.

“Dengue is another climate-sensitive disease which greatly affects the region of the Americas in general and the Caribbean in particular. Its distribution is very closely correlated with warm, humid conditions...

“Climate change also threatens human security by impacting on public health security. Global warming is expected to pose direct threats to health by causing more severe storms, floods, droughts and fires, with consequent disruptions in water and food supplies as well as medical and other services,” she noted.

The PAHO/WHO official told those gathered that this phenomenon has the potential to jeopardise the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, including the health-related Goals, as well as undermine the efforts of countries to improve the health of their respective publics and reduce health inequalities regionally and globally."

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