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World Health Day 2022: Our Planet, Our Health. Here’s Why Climate Crisis Is Also A Health Crisis

On World Health Day 2022, through the ?Our planet, Our health' campaign, WHO will focus global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy

World Health Day is a WHO initiative to raise awareness about the overall health and well-being of people across the world. Back in 1948, WHO organised the first World Health Assembly which called for the creation of a 'World Health Day'. Two years later, in 1950, the first World Health Day was celebrated on April 7 and since then, it is observed every year on the same day with a unique theme. The theme for this year is 'Our planet, Our health'.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes like ambient air pollution. This includes the climate crisis which is the single biggest health threat facing humanity.

According to the WHO, meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could save about a million lives a year worldwide by 2050 through reductions in air pollution alone. Avoiding the worst climate impacts could help prevent 250,000 additional climate-related deaths per year from 2030 to 2050, mainly from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.

Rising temperatures increase the risk of extreme heat. Exposure to extreme heat causes headaches, confusion, tiredness, and vomiting. WHO says that with temperatures above 40 degrees, heat strokes might happen, causing organ failure hospitalisation and even death. Additionally, rising temperatures and floods caused by climate change will put 2 billion people at risk of Dengue.

Climate change makes it more likely for droughts and wildfires to happen. Wildfires can cause death and injury from suffocation, burns and smoke inhalation; respiratory and cardiovascular problems from smoke and ashes; trauma impacts on mental health; disruption to health services; loss of housing and livelihoods.

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