Effects of climate change on public health to be monitored from Pune

LEADING medical colleges from Pune have come together address the immediate and long term impacts of climate change on people’s health, especially the poor and vulnerable in society.

This will be done through the “Centre for Climate Change and Health” which was launched on April 7, 2018 – World Health Day. The Centre will deploy smart technologies like IoT, Big Data analytics and robotics for academics and and field research on health and would be part of the Smart Campus Cloud Network, TERRE Policy Centre.

This centre will work in collaboration with the National Environmental Engineering Institute, Nagpur, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, the Indian Institute of Public Health, Ahmedabad and the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi. 

Centre of Climate Change and Health is the timely initiative to prevent the catastrophe facing the humanity that has unfortunately chosen the path of development which  degrades the environment. If the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of clean and healthy Bharat is to be realised, the young health-specialists need to research for the innovations. Tthe Centre would create enabling conditions to contribute towards Sustainable Development Goal number 3- Good health and well-being for all – Dr Vishwanath Karad , Founder President of MIT-World Peace Institute

It will create awareness among medical students and faculty, offer specialized courses on climate change and health, post-graduate scholarships and post-doctorate fellowships in the field.

“When narration of planetary menace due to climate change is getting engulfed in continental politics and technicalities of temperature and sea-level rise, the life-threatening diseases that are intensifying in their frequency and intensity are already taking the toll,” said Rajendra Shende, mentor of the new centre and chairman of TERRE Policy Centre.

He said the direct damage to health is estimated by World Health Organization to be between $2-4 billion per annum by 2030.

Besides, there would be impact on social, environmental and economic costs due to damage to health which would be much more and affect the GDP growth of each nation, warned Shende, a former Director of UNEP.

“Costs to the countries with weak health infrastructure – mostly in developing countries – will weaken them further unless assistance is given to prepare them for the response,” he added.

The launch coincided with the 70th World Health Day with prominent speakers addressing a panel discussion on ‘Impacts of Climate Change and Public Health’ organised by Maharashtra Institute of Technology-World Peace Institute. The speakers included WHO Director (Public Health and Environment) Dr Maria Neira (a recorded message) and IITM’s Dr Gufran Beig.

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