Tag: Health

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Climate change: a threat to human wellbeing and health of the planet, says IPCC

Human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce the risks. People and ecosystems have been hard hit, said scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released today on February 28.

About the IPCC: History, working groups and Reports

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. In the same year, the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by the WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC. It has 195 member states.

The Working Group II (WGII) contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) assesses the impacts of climate change, looking at ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels. It also reviews vulnerabilities and the capacities and limits of the natural world and human societies to adapt to climate change.

The report builds on the WGII contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the IPCC, three Special Reports, and the Working Group I (WGI) contribution to the AR6 cycle. The Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Working Group II report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability was approved on Sunday, February 27 2022, by 195 member governments of the IPCC, through a virtual approval session that was held over two weeks starting on February 14.

“This report shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet”.

Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC

Report 2022 numbers and structure

A call for nomination of authors was sent to IPCC member governments on 15 September 2017. 270 experts from 67 countries were invited to take on their roles in the WGII contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. The Report relies on 675 contributing authors, and on more than 34,000 scientific papers.

They assessed the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and human communities at global and regional levels, their vulnerabilities, adaptation capacities and limits as well as options for achieving climate-resilient development. The Report results in 18 Chapters, 7 Cross-Chapter Papers, and 2 Annexes.

To avoid mounting loss of life, biodiversity and infrastructure, ambitious, accelerated action is required to adapt to climate change, at the same time as making rapid, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. During today’s Press conference launch, Antonio Guterres said:

“The scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet. Coal and other fossil fuels are choking humanity”.

António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

Text adapted from original IPCC Press Release‘s statements and report launch.

Fight against tuberculosis set back 12 years by Covid pandemic, report finds

This article was originally published on Global Development, The Guardian

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in nearly a 25% decrease in diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis around the world, according to research published in March 2021 by a coalition working to end TB.

Twelve months of Covid-19 has reversed 12 years of global progress against tuberculosis, worse than previously estimated.

“Due to the impact of the Covid pandemic on services, the number of people diagnosed and treated for TB in the worst-affected countries has dropped back to 2008 levels, said Stop TB Partnership’s executive director, Lucica Ditiu. A modelling study published last year estimated a setback of five to eight years.”

“The effect on countries has depended on their existing disease burden. Data from India and South Africa showed people infected with both TB and Covid-19 are three times more likely to die than those infected with TB alone, meaning preventive steps such as contact tracing and testing are essential in keeping rates low.”

Every year TB infects 10 million people and kills 1.5 million, more than any other infectious disease. Although Covid-19 overtook TB in 2020 as the most common cause of death from an infectious disease, TB still kills more people than Covid in low- and middle-income countries.

“Some countries have fought hard to reverse the setbacks. India’s health ministry, after seeing a 70% drop in TB notifications in the first four months of 2020, integrated TB outreach into Covid-19 programming.”

TB did not disappear when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Instead, people got distracted, health workers were redirected and health systems became overwhelmed, said India’s minister of health, Harsh Vardhan.

This article was originally published by Kate Hodal on Global Development, The Guardian.