PAHO to launch 16-country climate change and health project

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PAHO to launch 16-country climate change and health project

Friday, November 27, 2020

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — A new project to reduce death and disease from expected health consequences of climate change in 16 Caribbean countries is to kick off on December 1 by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and other partners, with the aim of bolstering health systems to withstand climate threats.

The beneficiary countries of the project, which is funded by the European Union, are Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

In a press release today, PAHO said the Strengthening Climate Resilient Health Systems project will be officially launched on Tuesday, December 1 at 4:00 pm in a virtual ceremony via Zoom. It noted that the keynote address, “Placing Climate Change and Health at the Forefront of National Policies” will be delivered by Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica.

PAHO Director Dr Carissa Etienne as well as Caribbean Community (Caricom) Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, are among those scheduled to address the forum.

According to PAHO, the project also includes linkages to the environmental determinants of health and COVID-19 prevention and control.

The organisation explained that over the next five years, the 16 Caribbean states will benefit from the project to bolster their communities and health systems to withstand the impacts from climate change. It noted that project partners include Caricom, the Caribbean Public Health Agency, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology and the University of the West Indies, as well as United Nations organisations and youth, environment and health civil society organisations.

Using a multi-disciplinary approach, the project will contribute to reduced mortality and morbidity from expected health consequences of climate change in Caribbean countries, the organisation said. It added that the goal is the coordination of novel climate and health activities.

“This project emphasises the strengthening of national and sub-regional technical capacities for the preparation, management and implementation of multi-country projects related to health and climate change, aiming to increase the climate resilience of health systems to better prepare and respond to climate threats. Specifically, it includes the promotion of tools to measure health co-benefits related to mitigation, inclusion of support for health national adaptation planning, early warning systems, monitoring of key environmental determinants of health and furthering climate change and health leadership programmes,” explained project manager and PAHO Climate Change and Health Advisor Dr Jonathan Drewry.


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