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Climate change and health in Nigeria

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By Mercy Kelani

The new global climate campaign will address climate change and its impact.

At a workshop in Kaduna, organized by the Save the Children International (SCI) to discuss the Connection between Climate and Health, Mr. George Akor, Save the Children International; SCI Social Protection Technical Specialist, said that crisis over water, particularly in Africa is likely to lead to a world war, unless with enactment of proactive measures. The workshop was aimed at creating common understanding, awareness and enlightenment concerning the new global climate campaign under the tag #GenerationHope Campaign.

Media Working Group of SCI, partnering with the Nigeria Medical Association, Kaduna State Chapter, received support from Save the Children International (SCI) to increase enlightenment on climate change, the media and the campaign to enable a clean and healthy environment. The objective of the workshop was to connect the message of climate change and health; develop the capacity of the media on the connection between Climate Change and Health; and create public sensitization on how the government place priority on child rights, environment and climate change.

Collaboration of stakeholders from different sectors is needed.

Asides the aforementioned objectives, mobilization of journalists for massive and regular reports on the impact of climate change on the health and wellbeing of people, especially children. Mr. Farouk Abdulkadir , SCI Advocacy and Campaign Coordinator, in his presentation, emphasized the significant role of the media to climate change response. He added that stakeholders require a working synergy among them to develop sustainable solutions that address the effects of climate change on the wellbeing of people.

Abdulkadir further stressed the need for government agencies and the public to realize and understand that health is naturally multispectral and how failure in one industry affects the other; the environment inclusively. Collaboration of stakeholders from diverse sectors as a team would enhance building of roads and hospitals, equipment of health facilities and breakage of barriers to access quality health services. The agenda of media is crucial in this setting and it requires understanding to enable them campaign for a clean and healthy environment.

People would be educated on the effects of climate change on health.

Speaking at the occasion, Prof. Rabiu Magaji of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, stated that it is necessary for the media to ensure sensitization and mobilization of children be a part of the response on climate change mitigation and adaptation. The public health professional and environmental expert added that this awareness would enable children to become a drive for climate change response in their communities. There would be education on climate change’s effects on health, ways to solve global warming, pollution and others.

Additionally, SCI Social Protection Technical Specialist, Mr. George Akor asserted that about 80 percent of injuries, ailments and deaths that occur as a result of climate change affect children mostly. According to him, the SCI global campaign, Generation Hope, is a “child-led campaign” to address the major causes of climate change and inequality. There is therefore a need for a collaborative effort by every partner and modification of policies and measures for prevent of climate-sensitive health outcomes.

Climate change causes many health challenges.

In his speech, Dr. Sani Aminu, Sports and Social Secretary, NMA, Kaduna State Chapter, said that climate change causes increased respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Other health challenges caused by this problem include waterborne diseases and the risk of asthma. The Chairman of the Media Working Group, Mr. Philip Yatai, added that developing the capacity of journalists on the link between climate change and health is one of media chat’s objectives. The major goal, in his statement, is creation of awareness on government’s prioritization of child’s rights.

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