Climate Change and Health presentation at Breakfast@UMHealth

Breakfast@UMHealth is an online CME that draws upon the knowledge and expertise of the clinical academic staff, medical specialists and researchers from the University of Malaya and other leading clinicians, scientists and trendsetters from elsewhere. In this ‘new normal’ and with the ever-evolving field of medicine, Breakfast@UMHealth aims to provide relevant clinical updates to busy clinicians and other healthcare professionals wherever they are.

UMHealth comprises the Faculties of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy as well as the Universiti Malaya Specialist Centre and Universiti Malaya Medical Centre.

During Episode 13-2023 of the Breakfast@UMHealth on 12 April 2023, Professor Dr Victor Hoe from the department presented a paper on “The Imperative of Climate Action to Promote Health in Asia” report. The chairperson for the conference was Professor Dr Noran Naqiah Hairi.

“The Imperative of Climate Action to Promote Health in Asia” report the work of the Association of Academics of Societies of Sciences in Asia. It is part of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) project on Climate Change and Health which is funded by the German Government. This report is the work of 15 National Academics from 7 regions of Asia and Oceania which includes academies and societies from China, Japan, Korea, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Russian Far East, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Malaysia.

The presentation highlights the extent of the effect of climate change in Asia and Oceania, current measures being taken to address the issues and the proposal for mitigation and adaptation measures.

Summary of the Talk

The video titled “The Imperative of Climate Action to Promote and Protect Health in Asia” features a presentation by Professor Dr. Victor Hoe, who discusses the findings of a report by the Association of Academies and Societies of Science in Asia (AASSA). The report, funded by the German government, focuses on the impact of climate change on health in Asia and Oceania.

Key Points from the Presentation:

  1. Introduction and Background:
    • The report is a collaborative effort involving 15 national academies from seven regions of Asia and Oceania.
    • Asia and Oceania are highly diverse in terms of climate, geography, and population density, making them particularly vulnerable to climate change.
  2. Vulnerability to Climate Change:
    • The region has the highest population density and is prone to natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, and landslides.
    • Over 1.2 billion people have been exposed to hydrological and meteorological hazards since 2000.
  3. Health Impacts of Climate Change:
    • Climate change exacerbates vector-borne diseases, malnutrition, air pollution, and mental health issues.
    • Heatwaves, extreme weather events, and rising sea levels pose significant health risks.
    • Specific examples include increased incidence of infectious diseases, malnutrition, and respiratory conditions.
  4. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies:
    • Mitigation involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions through changes in transportation, energy consumption, and agricultural practices.
    • Adaptation includes enhancing healthcare systems, developing early warning systems, and promoting public awareness.
    • Technological innovations and community-based approaches are essential for effective mitigation and adaptation.
  5. Challenges and Recommendations:
    • Common challenges include low public awareness, insufficient research, inadequate data, and limited healthcare resources.
    • Recommendations include increasing transdisciplinary research, improving data sharing, and developing integrated health policies.
    • Emphasis on education, training, and the implementation of health services tailored to regional needs.
  6. Conclusion:
    • Climate change is a significant threat to health in Asia and Oceania, requiring urgent and coordinated action.
    • The report calls for increased cooperation between countries, enhanced research efforts, and the development of sustainable health policies.

The presentation underscores the critical need for climate action to protect public health in one of the most vulnerable regions of the world.

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