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World Health Assembly recognises climate change as threat to global health

by Haruna Gimba
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By Muhammad Amaan

In a resounding call to action, the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly (WHA) has recognised climate change as an imminent threat to global health.

In a statement on Friday, it passed a resolution that underscored the urgent need for decisive measures to confront the profound health risks posed by climate change.

It said that the resolution, supported by Member States, presented an overview of the existential threat that climate change posed to human health.

“The assembly asserts that radical action is imperative to safeguard the health of the planet, underscoring the interdependence of environmental sustainability and public health,” it said.

The statement urged the global health community to mobilise on an unprecedented scale and also called for the amplification and expansion of existing efforts to combat climate change within its core functions.

“This includes prioritising health considerations in national and international climate policy frameworks, as well as supporting countries in building climate resilient and low carbon health systems.

“By strengthening capacity building and providing technical support to national health ministries, the actions agreed at the assembly will empower countries to implement robust climate-resilient health initiatives tailored to their unique circumstances.

“And also, to guide cross-sectoral actions that both promote health, and contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“The resolution marks a key moment in the fight against climate change, emphasising the urgent need for collective action to protect both human health and the planet,” it said.

According to it, WHO is committed to continuing to lead the global health response to climate change.

It said that the organisation planned to scale up its efforts in supporting Member States through leadership, raising awareness, providing technical support and building capacity.

“Key initiatives include presenting health as a central concern in climate policies, advancing evidence-based strategies, and mobilising support for health and climate action in countries.

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