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PIA Press Release
2009/02/22

Global warming causes health problems, says DOH

Tacloban City (February 22) -- Although global warming which is already being felt nowadays is an environmental problem, it will have a very great impact on the health of the people, the Department of Health informed.

Already there are some changes in the climatic conditions of the country and the world. In many places of the country, rain is still being experienced at a time when summer should have started.

Very high temperature causes skin cancer especially for the elderly, the Department of Health informed. Dengue and malaria upsurge will also be apparent.

Because of global warming, the ozone layer of the earth which filters the ultra violate rays of the sun has been damaged. Exposure to too much ultra violet rays of the sun causes skin cancer.

Throughout the world, the prevalence of some diseases and other threats to human health depend largely on local climate. Extreme temperatures can directly lead to loss of life, while climate-related disturbances in ecological systems, such as changes in the range of infective parasites, can indirectly impact the incidence of serious infectious diseases. In addition, warm temperatures can increase air and water pollution, which in turn harm human health.

Health outcomes in response to climate change are the subject of intense debate. Climate change has the potential to influence the frequency and transmission of infectious disease, alter heat- and cold-related mortality and morbidity, and influence air and water quality.

Climate change is just one of the factors that influence the frequency and transmission of infectious disease, and hence the assessments view such changes as highly uncertain. This said, changes in the agents that transport infectious diseases (e.g., mosquitoes, ticks, rodents) are likely to occur with any significant change in precipitation and temperature.

Increases in mean temperatures are expected to result in new record high temperatures and warm nights and an increase in the number of warm days compared to the present. It is imperative to protect the people against many different adverse health outcomes related to climate change by a strong public health system, relatively high levels of public awareness, and healthy living.

Children, the elderly, and the poor are considered to be the most vulnerable to adverse health outcomes. Everyone are called upon to help mitigate global warming and help inform the people about its causes and its adverse effects. (PIA 8) [top]

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