Climate Change as Health Determinant: Policy Brief


Governments should implement powerful policies and programs to address the health challenges affecting their people. Various issues affect the medical outcomes of individuals negatively. Such concerns should be mitigated using advanced strategies to improve people’s quality of life. The targeted issue for this discussion is that of climate change.

Issue Identification

Climate change is a serious problem that affects many people across the globe. This issue is being monitored and addressed using numerous measures since it has the potential to affect people’s health outcomes. Haworth (2014) acknowledges that climate change is a process that is capable of affecting water supply systems. Consequently, it creates the best environment for vector-borne illnesses such as malaria, cholera, and typhoid. It can also result in typhoons and tsunamis, therefore affecting people’s health. Extreme weather conditions are associated with physical injuries, loss of shelters, and disruption of transportation systems. These events tend to have negative impacts on every healthcare delivery system.

Background Information

Haworth (2014) indicates that climate change affects many people in the United States and across the globe. However, some populations tend to encounter numerous difficulties due to this problem. These include communities of color and underage children (Toan, Kien, Giang, Van Minh, & Wright, 2014). The elderly and those with chronic conditions (such as obesity and cancer) bear the burden of problems such as injuries. The poor are also at risk of diseases associated with the issue of climate change.

Climate change is a major problem that people at the local and national levels. This happens to be the case because the consequences of extreme weather conditions are experienced in every part of the country (“Climate change,” n.d.). Floods and tsunamis can also affect citizens in other neighboring countries. Haworth (2014) asserts that climate change is a major problem that is capable of disorienting operations and lifestyles in every part of the world. These facts explain why collaborative efforts are needed in an attempt to safeguard the welfare of every vulnerable population.

Different scholars have presented convincing observations and statistics to explain how climate change influences health. For instance, Haworth (2014) indicates that extreme weather conditions are capable of disorienting the environmental and social health determinants. These include quality air, sufficient food, safe drinking water, and shelter. Over 180,000 deaths are recorded annually due to problems arising from climate change such as malnutrition, injury, malaria, or heat stress (“Climate change and health,” 2018). In countries with underdeveloped health infrastructures, many people are affected by extreme weather conditions.

Problem Statement

The above discussion has shown conclusively that climate change is a major determinant of health. Unfortunately, past studies have failed to link this issue to illnesses and conditions affecting many people today. This has been the case because many scholars and agencies have been focusing on other attributes or issues such as health equity, chronic diseases, mental illnesses, and substance abuse (Toan et al., 2014). This means that climate change has been left in the hands of environmentalists and scientists. Consequently, many people continue to face numerous health problems that make it impossible for them to pursue their goals in life.

Addressing the Issue

Climate change is a health concern that requires powerful solutions. The best answer to this issue is the implementation of a powerful policy that addresses its major causes. The proposed policy should focus on key areas such as greenhouse gas emission, pollution, and overuse of natural resources (Haworth, 2014). These initiatives will compel business organizations, communities, and members of the public to engage in sustainable practices that protect the natural environment. This means that politicians, policymakers, citizens, corporations, and communities should be involved as stakeholders. Administrators and government officials should also be part of this agenda.

The government should focus on the health challenges caused by climate change and present adequate funds. The major issues to consider for funding include the number of affected people, the effectiveness of existing public infrastructures, and the nature of experienced extreme weather patterns (Tong, Confalonieri, Ebi, & Olsen, 2016). Such aspects will ensure that adequate funds are allocated to implement powerful measures that can slow down the rate of climate change.

Impact on the Health Care Delivery System

The health care delivery system is quite complex. This is true because there are numerous infrastructures, facilities, departments, and agencies that are involved to offer medical services. The occurrence of natural disasters caused by climatic changes affects the integrity of such networks. Many people tend to be exposed to polluted air, unsafe water, and poor living conditions. Road networks are also damaged by hurricanes, thereby making it impossible for citizens to access high-quality medical services (Tong et al., 2016). Similarly, many caregivers find it hard to deliver adequate resources to every affected individual. The problem of climate change should, therefore, be analyzed carefully since it has detrimental impacts on people’s health outcomes.

Conclusion

Different stakeholders such as politicians, administrators, and community members should collaborate to develop powerful plans to deal with the problem of climate change. This approach can present powerful strategies to improve health equity and public health. When this challenge is prioritized, it will be possible for the country to improve its citizens’ medical outcomes.

References

Climate change and health. (2018). Web.

Climate change. (n.d.). Web.

Haworth, E. A. (2014). The role of public health in climate change and sustainability: What should the Australian public health response be? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 38(4), 311-313. Web.

Toan, D. T., Kien, V. D., Giang, K. B., Van Minh, H., & Wright, P. (2014). Perceptions of climate change and its impact on human health: An integrated quantitative and qualitative approach. Global Health Action, 7(1), 1-7. Web.

Tong, S., Confalonieri, U., Ebi, K., & Olsen, J. (2016). Managing and mitigating the health risks of climate change: Calling for evidence-informed policy and action. Environmental Health Perspectives, 124(10), A176-A179. Web.