Planet’s Health is Our Health and the Reverse is True

planet health 2019

(Louis Reed, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Mayumi Cavalcante Hashiguchi, a third year medical student of University Center São
Lucas – UniSL from a small city of Brazil named Porto Velho which is the capital of
Rondônia, a state in the north of the country, located in Western Amazonia. 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.


Over the years, human beings have started to pollute the world by many different ways and as a consequence, the world became into a huge climate change that affects lots of daily aspects, most of them are related to health.

The last two decades have been the hottest of the last 1.000 years, which can be catastrophic by affecting ecosystems and lives. Factors as high temperature and humidity allow increase proliferation of infectious diseases, especially those which are transmitted through vectors, snails or others cold blooded animals. Crop declines could lead to undernutrition and hunger. Increase of CO2 in the atmosphere could make soy less nutritious, among other foods.

How different climatic conditions can affect us and how much grows we worry?

Climate change can affect our health indirectly by modifying social and environmental determinants of health as such as local temperature, population migration, floods, droughts and heat waves. These events can lead to a flashy number of consequences: physical, traumatic, psychological, infectious and nutritional; all of them affect quality of life and health condition.

It can also affect directly by polluting weather and food, unsafety drinking water, insecure shelter and others. Air pollutants like greenhouses gases can trigger pollen and aeroallergen, asthma and others respiratory diseases. In addition, extreme high air temperatures contribute directly to deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

But why is important to focus on health while climate change affects so many different topics of days of our lives?

As a rule, the health effects are overwhelmingly negative. To begin with, a definition of health is the complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not only the absence of diseases. It is also an important determinant of quality of life, work and others characteristics in our day-to-day. If something spoils those features, everything could be ruined and generate a snowball effect.

Not to mention that areas of developing countries without a good health infrastructure will be the fittest to cope without help to arrange and respond. For this reason, it is essential to discuss current weather conditions and its consequences with an emphasis on health.

At last, public health professionals have an obligation to give people assistance to stay healthy despite all of climate aftereffects. Hence, it is important to have climate change on the medical curricular grade because the scope of climate change effects on health is unprecedented. On top of that, all health professionals carry some responsibility for bring efforts to reduce climate change consequences on health and how to address these paradigms on health condition. Furthermore, it is underlying to implement preparation of students and health professionals and this inclusion into undergraduate medical education fosters necessary critical thinking.

In summary, it is vital to discuss health on scenario in which we live likewise discuss how it can be dandified and how to restore it since impaired health can disrupt life as a whole. Due to the health of the planet be our health and vice versa.

About the author

Mayumi Cavalcante Hashiguchi, a third year medical student of University Center São
Lucas – UniSL from a small city of Brazil named Porto Velho which is the capital of
Rondônia, a state in the north of the country, located in Western Amazonia. She is a
member of IFMSA-Brazil (International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations of
Brazil) since the first half of 2017. She studies at a private university with a scholarship.
When graduated, she dreams to be a neurosurgeon. Mayumi is a 20-year-old girl who
loves to travel and is a compulsive reader.

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