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  • WHO directors call to add climate- and heat-related diseases to COP28 agenda

    12 Sep 2023

    Heat-related effects of climate change are more and more manifest – along with their human toll in terms of deaths and diseases. WHO Directors for Non-communicable Diseases and Environment, Climate Change and Health, Bente Mikkelsen and Maria Neira, call to set prevention of climate- and heat-related diseases on the formal COP 28 negotiating agenda – "not just on the sidelines”.

  • Observatory now includes information and facts on selected water- and food-borne diseases

    06 Sep 2023

    Facts and figures about eight water- and food-borne diseases (i.e., campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis, infections with toxin-producing E. coli bacteria, Legionnaires’ disease, shigellosis, leptospirosis, giardiasis, and cryptosporidiosis) are now available on the Observatory. The disease webpages include among others information on the transmission routes, health effects and the climate sensitivity of the diseases.

  • New Budapest Declaration commits European countries to develop ‘Health National Adaptation Plans’

    30 Aug 2023

    Adopted on 7 July 2023 by the countries of the WHO European Region, the Budapest Declaration formulates political commitments and actions to address the health risks posed by the triple crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. It could become a real game-changer for the health sector’s engagement with climate change, and for the climate policy contribution to health. With regard to adaptation policy, a key commitment is the development, updating and implementation of ‘Health National Adaptation Plans’, either as standalone documents, or as a part of wider National Adaptation Plans.

  • Rapidly increasing likelihood of exceeding 45-50°C and heat-related deaths in the Mediterranean and Middle East

    21 Aug 2023

    With climate change, the likelihood of extremely hot days, associated with excess mortality, is increasing rapidly. In parts of the Mediterranean and Middle East, temperatures above 45-50°C are more likely than in pre-industrial times, and could be experienced every year in the hotter locations by the end of the century. The region may face several additional weeks with risks for heat-related fatalities by 2100, which stresses the need for effective adaptation planning.

  • WHO/EU statement: Without preparation heat can be deadly

    17 Aug 2023

    In a statement, WHO Regional Director for Europe, Hans Henri P. Kluge, urges preparation to prevent fatalities related to heatwaves, such as the one that hit many regions in Europe in July. Besides immediate steps to protect ourselves and others, longer-term measures are urgently needed in Europe.

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

    16 Aug 2023

    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.

  • How climate change is disrupting rainfall patterns and putting our health at risk

    14 Aug 2023

    Climate change isn’t only about temperature rise. The warming of the planet also has repercussions on rainfall with both droughts and extreme rainfall becoming more common in different parts of the world. Learn why and how we should act, but also how Europe remembers what has already been lost.

  • Commonly used indices disagree on the role of humidity in heat-health impacts

    05 Aug 2023

    Different indices for health impacts of heat stress (HSIs) use different relative importances of temperature and humidity, and may therefore support different adaptation measures to reduce adverse health effects.

  • WMO to strengthen heat-health early warnings and action plans in response to global heatwaves

    04 Aug 2023

    Recent heatwaves across the globe induce the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to step up its efforts to strengthen heat-health early warnings and integrated action plans for heatwaves.

  • Half of children in Europe and Central Asia exposed to high heatwave frequency, all will be by 2050

    02 Aug 2023

    Around half of the 184 million children in Europe and Central Asia are exposed to high heatwave frequency, according to a new UNICEF policy brief. This is double the global average of 1 in 4 children exposed to high heatwave frequency. By 2050, all European children would be exposed to the risks of high heatwave frequency.