New partnership to use climate services to improve public healthListen /
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have joined forces to tackle the increasing risks to human health posed by weather and climate hazards such as extreme temperatures, floods, droughts and tropical cyclones.
The organizations have established a Climate and Health office to promote the development and use of climate services to improve public health.
The new office seeks to increase awareness, build capacity, and connect meteorological services with experts in the health sector in an active partnership for climate adaptation and risk management.
WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud says climate change is leading to an increase in extreme weather events which have a major impact on human health, and a common understanding of the challenges is needed in order to overcome them.
Clare Nullis is the WMO spokesperson.
"We are facing increased demands from the health sector for reliable advice and information on how to improve disease management, disease surveillance in the face of not just the natural variation in our climate, but obviously increasingly climate change."
She says the initiative will support collaboration between health partners and the national meteorological departments, to make better use of weather information and seasonal forecasts to enhance risk assessment and preparedness for diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea and under nutrition.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.