Human health – litmus paper for the climate change?

arctic greenland

Ilulissat, Greenland (Unsplash, 2019)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Irmina Morawska, a 5th year medical student of Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. 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.


Climate Change undoubtedly impacts our health and well-being. The influences of weather and climate on human health are significant and varied. Beginning with allergies and asthma, through cancers with its wealth of malnutrition and ending up on psychiatry problems and neurological disorders. As the Earth warms, sea level rises, floods and droughts become more frequent and intense. These signals are the Earth’s scream for help!

Let’s start with differentiating ways of how climate change affects.

Firstly, the severity and frequency of health problems that are already affected by climate factors is enormously increasing. Areas already experiencing health-threatening weather conditions (severe heat, hurricanes) are likely to batter worsening impacts (increased storm intensity, higher temperatures). It also means that some locations will experience new climate-related health threats. Have a look at asthma. Allergy symptoms have been ubiquitous lately. Climate change is one of the culprits here. More CO2 in the air and higher temperatures result in longer staying of allergens in the air, which are getting more annoying than they used to. They also enforce additional work on the immune system and cause lower lung capacity.

Secondly, creating unprecedented health threats in places where they have not previously occurred. Not only does the climate change make many existing diseases and conditions worse, but also it may help introduce new pathogens into new regions or communities. For instance, nowadays, more frequent cases of malaria, dengue, yellow fever or typhoid are likely to occur in non-typical regions. On the other hand, areas that currently experience those health threats may see a shift in the timing of the seasons that pose the greatest risk to human health. Moreover, it may also result in compounding our health care infrastructure.

When it comes to malnutrition, which is generally associated, above all, with poor Third World inhabitants, now is increasingly affecting the societies of developed countries. Food loses its quality and its poor condition may contribute to developmental deficits and many variants of cancers, which are getting more and more difficult to diagnose and treat.

The effects of climate change on mental health are integral parts of the overall climate-related human health impacts. Mental health consequences of climate change range from minimal distress symptoms to clinical disorders, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and suicidality. Other consequences include effects on the everyday life and experiences of individuals and communities. The interactive and cumulative nature of climate change effects on physical and mental health are crucial factors in understanding the overall consequences of climate change on human health.

There is no denying – the future doesn’t look rosy. The most vulnerable people – children, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions – are at increased risk for health effects from climate change. We should stop for a while, broaden horizons, look at the problem from stricter side and implement advanced advocacy steps. New ideas will yield benefits for our health, environment, economy and society at the same time… Our health is at stake!

About the author

Irmina Morawska is a 5th year medical student of Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. Since 3 years active member of IFMSA-Poland – a part of International Federation of Medical Students Associations, currently holds the position of National Officer on Medical Education (NOME). Advocacy and project management supporter. Combining passion for travelling with love for medicine encouraged her to participate in professional exchange programmes in Slovakia and Oman, but this year new adventure in Portugal has already knocked her door with its wealth of unknown. Devoted soft skills trainer with motivation, creativity and opened state of mind.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

As human caravan moves through Mexico, ‘full respect’ needed for national control of borders: UN chief

‘Continue working together’ UN chief urges DR Congo, as country heads to polls

World Cancer Day: Early cervical cancer diagnosis could save lives of over 300,000 women

UN launches plan to promote peace, inclusive growth in Africa’s Sahel

UN chief calls for ‘increased commitment’ to resolution on 10th anniversary of Georgia conflict

Eurozone at risk of home-made deflation and recession

UN refugee agency ‘deeply shocked’ at stabbing death of ‘deeply courageous’ Polish mayor

Health Education, is it a necessity?

The Brussels bureaucracy blocks the Youth Guarantee scheme

A Sting Exclusive: “Leading by example! EU must push for UN deal to avoid dangerous climate change”, European Parliament Vice-President Ulrike Lunacek cries out from Brussels

10th ASEM in Milan and the importance of being one: EU’s big challenge on the way to China

How close is the new financial Armageddon? IMF gives some hints

The big five EU telecom operators in dire straights

The Brexit factor in the US-China trade war and other conflicts

Two States ‘side-by-side’ is the ‘peaceful and just solution’ for Israel-Palestine conflict: Guterres

Fresh airstrikes kill dozens in conflict-ravaged Syria

UN and partners appeal for $920 million to meet ‘dire needs’ of Rohingya refugees

Medical Education is #NotATarget

EU Ambassadors in the EP: a multilateral approach to global challenges needed

EU budget: Making the EU fit for its role as strong global actor

The movement of anti-vaccers: taking humanity back 200 years

EU Parliament: Deposit guarantee and trading platform transparency sought

Main results of Environment Council of 09 October 2018

10 cities are predicted to gain megacity status by 2030

Why Italy will not follow the Greek road; Eurozone to change or unravel

Black Panther’s ‘General Okoye’ joins the fight against gender-based violence

MEPs call on EU countries to end precarious employment practices

The battle for the 2016 EU Budget to shake the Union; Commission and Parliament vs. Germany

‘Leaders who sanction hate speech’ encourage citizens to do likewise, UN communications chief tells Holocaust remembrance event

This project in India helps people and tigers co-exist peacefully

ILO’s Bureau for Employers´Activities to publish new study on women in business and management

It’s not summer holidays what lead to the bad August of the German economy

Investing in rural women and girls, ‘essential’ for everyone’s future: UN chief

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Europe’s children urge leaders to commit to climate action at UN Climate Summit in Paris

European Commissioner for Youth wants young people to be at heart of policy making

The global economy isn’t working for women. Here’s what world leaders must do

Eurozone: Inflation plunge to 0.4% in July may trigger cataclysmic developments

How the United States can win back its manufacturing mojo

EYE to kick off on Friday: 8000+ young people discussing the future of Europe 1 – 2 June

India’s economy is growing fast, but its poorest areas lag behind. Here’s why this could be about to change

EU Copyright Directive: Google News threatens to leave Europe while media startups increasingly worry

Ecofin: ‘The Friday battle’ for the banking union

How fungi could save the world

UN relief official in Yemen condemns ‘horrific’ attack on passenger buses

Nigeria: UN chief ‘appalled’ by killing of aid worker; calls for release of remaining hostages

Germany openly seeks more advantages for its banks

A young student discusses the determinants of migration in the European Union

Erdogan vies to become Middle East Sultan over Khashoggi’s killing

Robots aren’t stealing all our jobs, says the World Bank’s chief economist

EU Budget 2019 deal: EP boosts support for researchers and the young

European Commission recommends to the European Council (Article 50) to find that decisive progress has been made in Brexit negotiations

European Semester Autumn Package: Bolstering inclusive and sustainable growth

Google prepares to final EU judgement over Android antitrust case

800,000 people commit suicide every year: WHO

A day in the life of a Rohingya refugee

‘Well-being of two million’ in Gaza at stake as emergency fuel runs dry: UN humanitarian coordinator

Eurozone slowly but surely builds its Banking Union

The economic cost of anti-vaccination movements in Italy

MWC 2016 LIVE: Mobile World Congress shows off planes, trams and automobiles

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s