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Lancet’s 2019 Health and climate change report: Indian children health affected most

On November 13, 2019 a report titled ‘The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change: ensuring that the health of a child born today is not defined by a changing climate’ for the year 2019 was released by weekly medical journal Lancet. The report was about the health effects caused due to climate change. The report in detail are as follows,Lancet Report on “Health and Climate Change, 2019Report on India:

  • Malnutrition deaths: In India, malnutrition is responsible for 2/3rd of deaths of children under 5 years. 
  • Food yields: The average yield of rice and maize has already reduced/declined by 2% since the 1960s.With the rise in temperature, harvests will shrink leading to threat in the food security and drive up food prices. This is expected to hit the infants hardest.
  • Vibrio Bacteria: The children will suffer more with rise in infectious disease due to climate change. The climate will be suitable for vibrio bacteria which causes cholera. The bacterial growth has an annual rise of 3% since the 1980s. The vibrio bacterial growth has doubled over the past 30 years.
  • Initiatives in India: In order to tackle a variety of diseases and risk factors, the Indian govt has launched various initiatives in this regard. Some of them include India’s shifting towards renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions. 

General Report:

  •  With temperature rise, children are to face the greatest burden of malnutrition. 
  • The public health gains achieved over the past 50 years is expected to be reversed by the changing climate.
  • Factors of poor health condition: The negative health effects in children were reported due to inequality in health care, poverty, malnutrition.
  • Major cause of death: Major cause of child mortality was due to diarrhoeal infections. Heatwaves may too frequently be responsible for deaths in India in future.
  • A 7.4% year-on-year cut in fossil CO2 emissions from 2019 to 2050 will help in limiting global warming to the ambitious goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Key Points:

i.Indicators: the report was based on 41 key indicators indicating action to be taken to meet the Paris Agreement targets or business for human health.

ii.Report collaboration: the project was done through collaboration between 120 experts from 35 institutions which also included the World Health Organisation(WHO), the World Bank(WB), University College London, and Tsinghua University in Beijing.

About Lancet:
Fact- Lancet is among the world’s oldest, most prestigious and best known medical journal.
Founded- 1823.
Founder- Thomas Wakley.