Climate change

Ministerial Roundtable on Building Health Systems Resilience to Climate Change, 7 September 2017

Ministerial Roundtable on Building health systems resilience to climate change was organized during 70th Regional Committee Meeting in Male, Maldives on 7 September 2017

Informal consultation to prepare for a Ministerial Roundtable on building health systems resilience to climate change

An informal consultation to prepare for a Ministerial round table on building health system resilience to climate change was held in Male’ Maldives from 14-15 May 2017. The meeting was attended by climate change and health focal points from all members states of WHO South-East Asia region. The meeting was opened by H.E Minister of Health, Maldives. The meeting took stock of current health responses to climate change and identified areas that need further strengthening. The participants agreed on a draft set of actions and draft outline of Declaration that will be endorsed by Health Ministers when they attend the 70th Regional Committee meeting in Maldives in September 2017.

Impacts of climate change

Climate change impacts health in very many ways. Its direct effect is in the form of death and injury from the various manifestations of heat stress, storm and surges, landslide and erosion, drowning from flood; vector, vehicle (water, air, vermin and insects) and food borne diseases; malnutrition due to falling agricultural yield (especially in the South-East Asian Region of WHO) and higher market price of cereals due to the fall in yield; mental health problems due to extreme and sudden weather events, migration, change in occupation and aggravation of poverty due to these events and higher cost of health care and medical care.


Highlighted publication

Regional Strategy for protecting health from climate change

This Regional Strategy for Protecting Health from Climate Change has been developed to fulfil the decisions taken at the 25th Meeting of Ministers of Health at Thimphu, Bhutan in 2007. The meeting urged WHO to formulate a Regional Strategy to combat the adverse health impacts of climate change. It also requested WHO to provide technical support for applied research, facilitate knowledge-sharing between Member States, assist in resource mobilization and facilitate Regional coordination to voice common concerns at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In addition, the Regional Committee in 2009 (SEA/RC62/R2) urged the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia to develop a strategy for funding health-related climate action plans. This document is expected to assist Member States in developing, strengthening and/or updating their national strategies on climate change and health, and their national plans on protecting health from climate change.