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Experiences in emergency ward during Sicilian heatwave call for action to reduce climate change impacts

WHO/Europe lets professionals from the Cervello Hospital in Palermo (Italy) speak about their experiences in the emergency room during the July heatwave on Sicily. Both doctors place the emergency situation caused by extreme heat on par with the conditions when Covid-19 hit the region first, and emphasize the urgent need to prepare the society, and health workers in particular, for the threats posed by climate change.

Proposed actions to prepare for heat impacts include:

  • timely health information and advice campaigns to warn people about the dangers of heat;
  • changes to the delivery of health services to protect older people; 
  • telehealth to reduce the need to visit doctors and pharmacies during hot summer weather;
  • regular home visits by health-care workers to older people to prevent heat-related conditions from becoming life-threatening;
  • meteorological early-warning systems;
  • integrated and systemized preventive actions in heat–health action plan (HHAPs).

The whole story can be read at the WHO/Europe website.

Date: 16 Aug 2023