Health is nothing but the main consequence of climate change

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(Unsplash, 2019)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Sofia Schmitt Schlindwein, a second-year medicine student at the Universidade Regional de Blumenau (FURB), in Brazil. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The destruction of forests, the exaggerated use of plastics, all help increase the temperature of the world, which is showing to be awful to the maintenance of life on earth, for it made possible the rising of sea levels, the drastic floods and all the extreme natural disasters happening more frequently, as well as many diseases provoked by virus transported by insects and contamination during the disasters.

Climate change is not only related to the rise of temperature on Earth, but all the consequences that this brings to the picture, changing the way the environment coexists, bringing many consequences to the health of those less fortunate, for instance, the increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, as well as causing many respiratory diseases, such as Asma and lung cancer, it affects drastically on the weather.

When the subject of climate change is brought up, the usual response is the rise of temperature, however, there are a lot of other problems related to the changes happening on the world, for instance, the increase of extreme natural disasters, which causes suffering for the people affected, for they lose their homes and causes a lot of emotional distresses, raising the numbers of individuals with mental illness. Also, these disasters cause many economic losses, both for the government and for the people affected.

Health is not only related to going to appointments and doing check-ups, but is also connected to habits of alimentation, which are extremely affected by climate change, for the rise on temperature can destroy crops and prevent people of getting their foods. Nowadays, many already suffer from malnutrition, however, it is estimated that in the future its numbers will rise, for the access to food will be restricted even more. Water will also be a resource difficult to have access to, for there will be water, but mostly will be improper for use, bringing many people to have diseases, such as diarrhea and intestinal illness.

All the changes with our environment lead to the decrease of our health, being shown in the way vetor borne diseases are spreading because of super storms and the elevate climates, for the virus has a better metabolism and reproduction on high temperatures, causing a higher number of affected people. In addition, the heat waves also can increase cardiovascular issues and aggravate the situation of many other illnesses.

The way climate change affect our bodies should be more publicized, bringing health to the core of the discussion about climate change, for the individuals who help increase the effects of climate change should understand all the consequences that the rise of the temperature, connected to the more extreme weather conditions and the levels of CO2, can cause to the human body, making us rethink of our actions, for humanity hasn’t got much hope if not changing its actions about sustainability and making possible for next generations to inhabit this planet. It is needed effort from all people.

About the author

Sofia Schmitt Schlindwein is a second-year medicine student at the Universidade Regional de Blumenau (FURB), in Brazil. She is affiliated to IFMSA Brazil since she entered medical school. She participates in the making of campaigns and seminars, all for the better education of the students of the university and for the community. She believes being a doctor nowadays is not only being the person who knows about diseases, but how to treat a person right, make her feel understood, as well as being able to help those in need, for I one day dream of working in doctors without borders.

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