India’s health gains may reverse due to climate change, kids likely to be most affected, says Lancet Study

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Published: November 14, 2019 3:39:50 PM

The ‘Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change’ is an all-inclusive report that relies on a yearly analysis. It tracks the progress of 41 key indicators to demonstrate what actions met the Paris Agreement targets for the health of humans.

Lancet Study, air pollution, climate change, PM 2.5, child mortality, malnutrition, infectious diseases, Poornima Prabhakaran, Public Health Foundation, Government of India, Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, World Health Organization, University College of London, World Bank, Tsinghua UniversityThe impact of air pollution it forecasts will affect them till they reach their adolescence.

Air pollution and climate change have led to rising temperatures. These could rescind the health benefits earned by India in the last two decades, according to a new Lancet study. The rise in infectious diseases will be especially bad for children. The study also pointed out a 3 per cent rise in cholera in India since the early 1980s. It is so because of the suitable climate for Vibrio bacteria which is the cause of the disease. Infants will be susceptible to rising prices of food and malnutrition due to the rise in temperatures.

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The study also revealed that the potential average yield of rice and maize has declined by 2 per cent since the 1960s in the country. Malnutrition is responsible for two-thirds of deaths of children under the age of five.

The impact of air pollution it forecasts will affect them till they reach their adolescence. Factors like 11 per cent increase in energy supply from coal between the years 2016-18 along with hazardous levels of PM 2.5 contributed to 5,29,500 premature deaths in 2016 over 97,400 resulted from coal.

Talking to IE, Poornima Prabhakaran co-author of the study, from the Public Health Foundation of India, said that India with its high rates of malnutrition, poverty, unequal healthcare and huge population will suffer the most because of the ongoing crisis. A major cause of child mortality, diarrhoeal infections, will spread to new places in the country. Deadly heat waves that killed thousands in 2015 will also become the norm. She further added that the Government of India has passed a number of programmes and initiatives in the past two decades for a variety of diseases and the risk factors involved. Despite this, the report shows that the health gains achieved in the past 50 years would be reversed by climate change.

The ‘Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change’ is an all-inclusive report that relies on a yearly analysis. It tracks progress of 41 key indicators to demonstrate what actions met the Paris Agreement targets for the health of humans. It is a collaboration between 35 institutions and 120 experts. These include the World Bank, University College of London, Tsinghua University, Beijing and the World Health Organization.

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