RAWALPINDI, Jan 29 (APP):The National University of Medical Sciences’ (NUMS) scientific journal emphasized the urgent need for investment in emerging green technology and introduction of climate education in curricula for mitigating the impact of global warming, jeopardizing human health, especially of marginalized people.
In its latest editorial NUMS’ “Life and Science”, an internationally-recognized academic journal, said, “The footprint of climate change is becoming more extreme in South Asia; India, Pakistan and the Philippines” which are in the “high bracket” of the vulnerability assessment, as reported by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Pakistan, a negligible contributor to climate change was severely hit by recent heavy rainfall and floods resulting in the loss of life and livelihood. The extreme weather conditions, it said, bring changes in air quality, natural calamities, and vector ecology which are negatively impacting human health. “Human exposure to intense heat is associated with heatstroke, adverse pregnancy outcomes (including premature birth), acute kidney injury, disturbed sleep patterns, mental health problems, cancers and worsening of underlying respiratory and cardiac diseases,” said the editorial.
Life and Science, already added to Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) Journal Recognition System (HJRS) said catering to the needs of the disaster-affected population remained “a key challenge in terms of resource constraints, afflicted health systems, changing disease burden, the provision of shelter and emergency relief items, delivering lifesaving and livelihood assistance, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) needs, prevention of disease outbreaks, addressing malnutrition, gender-based violence (GBV), psychosocial support (PSS), dignified protection, and family tracing.”
The editorial said climate hazards were increasing the burden on health services, already impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, co-epidemics (e.g., human immunodeficiency virus and tuberculosis) and the double burden of disease (communicable and non-communicable diseases).
The recent 2022 UN Conference of the Parties (COP27) in its Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan has decided to provide “loss and damage” funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters, it said. The past seven years were declared the warmest, the 1.5-degree climate target agreed upon at the Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris seems far out of reach as the global mean surface temperature is projected to rise to a dangerous level between 1.5° Celsius and 3.5° Celsius by the end of this century.
The climate stressors, it said, affect the most vulnerable and marginalized people, like old, pregnant women, new-born babies, people who are socially deprived and people working outdoors.