Country profiles





The sources used to compile the health and adaptation information for country profiles vary across countries. For EU Member States, information is based on their official adaptation reporting: 2021 adaptation reporting under the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action (see EU Adaptation ReportingClimate-ADAPT Country Profiles) and 2019 adaptation reporting under the EU Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism Regulation. These two reporting mechanisms are together referred to here as “EU official reporting on adaptation”. Note: The relevant information has been copied from the EU official reporting on adaptation (submitted until July 21, 2021), without further elaborating the contents of the text. Some information, valid at the time of reporting, may no longer be valid today. Any necessary additions to the text are clearly highlighted. 

In addition, information collated in the EEA’s analysis of Climate change and health: the national policy review in Europe (2021), the Adaptation preparedness scoreboard country fiches (2018) and the WHO study on Public health and climate change adaptation policies in the European Union (2018) are presented. Note: Some information, valid at the time of publication, may no longer be valid today. Any necessary additions to the text are clearly highlighted. 

Information sources for non-EU member countries of the EEA are more limited. 

Information from EEA report. Climate change and health: the national policy overview in Europe (2022)

National policies on climate change adaptation and national health strategies were analysed to identify the coverage of climate-related impacts on health (physical, mental, and social) and the types of interventions addressing them. The report provides a European overview, while the geographical coverage of various aspects of national policies across Europe can be visualized using the map viewer. The results for Malta are summarised here.

Policy documents reviewed:

National adaptation strategy (2012)

National Health Systems Strategy for Malta 2014-2020 

Aspects covered in the reviewed policy document:

Information from WHO. Health and climate change: country profile (2021)

This WHO/EURO UNFCCC health and climate change country profile for Malta provides a summary of available evidence on climate hazards, health vulnerabilities, health impacts and progress to date in health sector efforts to realize a climate-resilient health system.

The overall aims of the WHO and UNFCCC Health and Climate Change Country Profile Project are to:

  • Increase awareness of the health impacts of climate change
  • Support evidence-based decision making to strengthen the resilience of health systems
  • Support health involvement in national and international climate processes such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Promote actions that improve health while reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Information from EU official reporting on adaptation. GovReg reporting (2021), MMR reporting (2019)

The Maltese National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) was adopted in 2012. The strategy provides a summary of the climate change impacts on specific domains, including human health, and presents 72 actions that should be undertaken. Currently, Malta is in the process of updating the 2012 Adaptation Strategy for the Maltese Islands identifying areas of action, which call for strengthened resilience, and increased preparedness for climate change impacts.

A Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment for the Malta River Basin District was published in 2019 which identifies area with potentially significant preliminary flood risk and is the initial step in the development of the 2nd Flood Risk Management Plan which aims at the reduction of the adverse consequences for human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity associated with different flooding scenarios assessment.

Information from Adaptation preparedness scoreboard. Country fiches (2018)

The NAS prescribes institutional, legislative, policy, communication, research and development measures, in addition to actions related to water, agriculture, human health, tourism, financing and insurance sectors.

The Seventh National Communications of Malta to the UNFCCC have earmarked major local sectors (including health) as requiring attention when devising adaptation measures due to their current vulnerability, which increases their susceptibility to risk from climate change.

Information from WHO publication. Public health and climate change adaptation policies in the European Union (2018)

The national risk assessment exercise in Malta, conducted in 2015, stipulated that all owners of critical infrastructure of national relevance should take into consideration climate change impacts, including health-related adaptation issues, in their risk assessments and resulting contingency/emergency/project plans and programmes.

An early warning and response system is in place for heatwaves. The system is triggered by the Meteorological Office of Malta through the Health Care Standards Directorate, which issues guidelines to homes for the elderly. The public is also alerted, and people are advised to take precautionary measures against the effects of heatwaves, such as staying in cool places and drinking plenty of water.

The NAS makes explicit reference to air-conditioning and cooling facilities in homes for the elderly. These recommendations were taken up by the Health Care Standards Directorate, which obliges all homes for the elderly to monitor and control their ambient temperatures using temperature gauges. Actual temperature recordings are included in quality care audits performed by the Department of Active Ageing and Quality Care within the Ministry for Family and Social Solidarity.

The Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Unit carried out two risk assessments with foreign experts on local mosquitoes in 2009 and 2016. Aedes albopictus was found to have established itself on the island. A vector-borne disease plan is currently being drafted. The Unit has identified vectors of entomological and public health importance, whose behaviour may be climate change related, and joint surveillance on three mosquito species is being organised between the Unit and the veterinary department.

Resources in the Observatory catalogue on Malta