Climate change tends to disproportionately affect poor countries that are unable to adapt to the changing climate conditions.
The change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns, known as climate change, differs between regions in the world. However, climate change affects manly poor and deprived countries that are not able to adapt to changing conditions since they lack the tools and equipment. Moreover, the significant effect of climate change on certain countries over others is related to geographic location, dependence on the agricultural
sector, and social-economic gaps in governance paired with high poverty and growing population rates.
Countries in the southern hemisphere and around the equator, such as many African countries, depend greatly on their local ecosystems to provide abundant food, fuel, and water resources, which is becoming increasingly problematic in recent decades.
Agriculture is one of the first sectors that is heavily affected by climate change due to droughts, floods, storms, and an increase in sea level. Agriculture dependent on rain will greatly decrease in the coming decades due to the high occurrences of droughts making the sector vulnerable. This will decrease food crops and destabilize the food security, which will indirectly affect economic growth. Accompanied to this will be the negative effects for biodiversity and decrease or migration of certain species.
Illness and Disease
These changes will ultimately cause illness and disease either at an individual level or at a population level causing outbreaks and may even lead to epidemics. Water insecurity due to climate change threatens the health of the communities as it will cause increased incidences of disease such as diarrhea. The climatic variations and the extreme changes in weather also have an impact on infectious diseases affecting their reproduction and survival rates. Malaria has been associated with the increase in temperatures among other determinants. Dengue fever is another disease where the mosquito carrying the virus is affected by these ecological changes. Water borne diseases and cholera also surface due to impacts of climate change.
Moreover, 800 million people are currently malnourished in Africa while the population still persists on crops. It is shown that food production will decline due to climate change since droughts and other climate effects have a direct impact on food crops and supply, hence aggravating the situation of extensive malnutrition.
Since climate change will most harsely affect small farmers, farm owners will not be able to depend on production, which has shown to be correlated with increased urbanization. If the community is unable to feed from its land they eventually are forced to migrate towards urban areas. This will lead to overcrowding in urban areas and could possibly have other impacts such as increased exposure to disease and improper sanitary conditions.
To address the growing health concerns of climate change, WAHA International provides comprehensive medical care to the most vulnerable segments of the population. Our maternal care programs include the provision of adequate nutrition for mothers pre- and post-natal. In countries like Ethiopia and South Sudan for example, we encourage mothers to breastfeed their children and provide scheduled childhood vaccines to prevent the spread of communicable diseases that may be propagated as a result of the effects of climate change.
We continuously collaborate with local organization and health authorities to ensure that our programs and activities are adapted to the needs of the local population to best improve their overall health.