Intended for healthcare professionals

Student Editorials

Healthy planet

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 01 June 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:0706216
  1. Sarah Walpole, medical student

Climate change may well cause changes in our lifetimes. Sarah Walpole considers the health implications

Our health is inextricably linked to our interactions with the environment, and climate change is one of the greatest public health concerns of this century. The urgent call to action is no longer dismissed as the ranting of radicals, and the World Health Organization highlights the links between climate change and health.

Increased survival of disease vectors, decreased availability of safe water, flooding, and threatened crop varieties are a few examples of the detrimental health effects that will have global impact. Many of the countries that are most affected do not have the resources or infrastructure to deal with these problems; meanwhile the most industrialised countries have been slow and reluctant to act.

This isn't looking too healthy…

Another reason for the delayed response is that the causes and effects of climate change are so numerous and widespread. Facing up to this issue has huge …

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