In 2018 when Greta Thunberg protested outside the parliament, she highlighted an important issue. Greta demanded that the people in power pay attention to the impact of climate change.
While only three years have passed since the incident, we have been dealing with climate issues for much longer. However, now we can visibly see the earth collapsing under the weight of global warming. Within the US, public health is affected by physical, biological, and ecological disturbances.
If immediate action is not in motion, we will witness devastating effects of climate change way earlier than expected. Consequently, these disturbances take a toll on respiratory and cardiovascular systems. People may get sick often, have premature deaths, or get diseases previously unknown to us.
Since the public health sector is all about taking care of the public and protecting them, it brings protective measures in between. Here’s how public health can protect and rescue from the impact of climate change:
1. Raise Awareness
If we want the public health sector to take care of themselves, we need to talk about climate change. The best way to get a conversation going is through the media. Experts can go on air and talk about climate change. They can make graphs and infographics to provide more valuable insights on how climate change prognosis.
Once they’ve established understanding, they can raise the topic of sustainable healthcare. However, the question may arise what is sustainability in health care, and how can it impact us? In a nutshell, sustainable healthcare is all about establishing long-term strategies that can keep the medical sector afloat.
2. Encourage People To Wear Masks
The atmosphere is getting polluted. Instances of smog and even polluted air are not uncommon to us anymore. There are also instances of people getting asthmatic attacks and even developing lung problems. While cleaning the air will take time, the government can encourage people to wear masks.
Masks work with the concept of filtering the air. The cloth has filters that allow a person to breathe easily without getting exposed to pathogens. If we allow people to live in contaminated air, it will cause many respiratory issues.
3. Safety From Water Borne Diseases
Climate change can lead to many water-borne diseases. These pathogens thrive in water and, if consumed, can lead to many stomach problems. Unless the population gets guided on treating their drinking water, many will come down with symptoms like diarrhea. Water-borne diseases occur due to two reasons: rainfall and high temperature. Increased rainfall can cause flooding or overflow of sewage that can mix with drinking water.
Microbes need a specific temperature to grow. Sunny and humid conditions are ideal. So when people wash their produce or drink water, they get sick quickly. Younger children cannot handle symptoms of prolonged diarrhea. Their immune system continues to weaken, and they dehydrate at a startling level. The way to counter water problems is to boil water frequently. It also includes chlorinating water. Groundwater needs to go through a distillation process before it gets handed out to the public.
4. Dealing Mental Health Disorders
Seasons impact the way we feel and think. If the temperature is too hot, it can cause you to feel agitated. There are also cases of seasonal depression and feeling down during certain seasons. Fluctuations in the weather can take a toll on the population.
For some people, isolation from the world around them due to bad weather can impact them negatively.
For others, the fluctuation in temperature can interfere with the medicines they take. Patients who are schizophrenic use medicines that regulate their body’s temperature. The external climate impacts their internal clock when they take medications, putting them at risk for hyperthermia.
Patients with dementia show signs and symptoms of suicide. They seem more aggravated during high temperatures. Unfortunately, mental health is still not understood properly. The public health sector may encourage remedial methods such as psychiatry.
However, the scientific community still needs to work on understanding mental health and climate.
5. Sorting Through The Food Problem
Countries all over the world have varying food problems. Some countries have a massive food shortage, while others have more dietary issues. Food shortage delves into a mixture of increased costs and poor diet, looking at the US nutritional issues.
People have poor diets. They choose to eat empty calories, and with problems with food on the rise, more people will resort to cheap but nutrition-deficient food. When you’re not getting the nutrition that you need every day, you may get malnourished. In case you are consuming too many calories, you may become obese.
Moreover, plants no longer grow appropriately in nitrogenous soil. Even the atmosphere doesn’t provide them with enough carbon dioxide. As a result, the food getting produced is nutrient deficient and not worth consuming. Scientists are working on genetically modified food. These can help people consume food more sustainably and get the nutrition they need.
6. Develop Climate Change and Health Development Programs
One of the most critical factors that the government can do is implement a development program. They need to factor in what communities get directly impacted and how to protect them. These can include setting up more clinics. Making sure these communities get fresh food and water and regular checkups.
Other factors also include helping people combat climate change. They may look into encouraging people to buy sustainable products. It also includes encouraging people to commute together and shift to more renewable resources. These programs can help people delay climate change marginally, and soon the ozone layer can also get better.
7. Predict The Trajectory of Climate Change
Climate change has patterns, and scientists can help identify these patterns and produce a timeline to help communities thrive through climate change. Prediction includes gauging how much the weather is fluctuating around the world. It includes measuring the rising sea levels and even the melting glaciers.
Climate change also includes judging how many animals go extinct and how the climate is increasing their death exponentially. Climate change also brings pathogens and microbes back into the picture that was inactive for a long time. That means climate change can break back viruses that long went inactive.
The world is crumbling under the pressure of climate change which is increasing at a devastating rate. We are experiencing food shortages, water-borne disease, and temperature changes. Unless emergency plans get established, the public health sector will crumble, and the population will suffer.
Government and healthcare professionals can help the people to help subside the damages of climate change. They can educate the people on diseases and even create awareness of what climate change is. Understanding also includes investing in healthcare development programs. It also includes predicting the trajectory of climate change and how long we have before the situation gets worse.
The public health sector needs to focus on helping the population counter climate change. You also need to know the impact it holds over us before it spirals any more out of control.