Webinar on Building the bridge between climate and public health
Webinar on

Building the bridge between climate and public health

14 March, 2016 [Monday] 12:00 PM- 01:00 PM IST

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), USA, TERI, and TARU Leading Edge Private Limited co-hosted a webinar titled 'Building the Bridge between Climate and Public Health'. The webinar discussed the use of meteorological forecasts for public health early warning systems.

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  • Opening Comments

    Dr John M. Balbus

    Topic: Introduction to Understanding Climate and Health Associations in India (UCHAI) in helping represent India health sector to climate service agencies.

    John M. Balbus, Senior Advisor for Public Health to the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences(NIEHS), where he directs the NIEHS-WHO Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Sciences. He serves as HHS principal to the U.S. Global Change Research Program and also co-chairs working groups on Climate Change and Human Health for the Ual Change Research Program and for the National Institutes of Health. Balbus has served as lead author or reviewer for recent national and international climate change and health assessments, and is co-author of the HHS guide document "Primary Protection: Enhancing Health Care Resilience for a Changing Climate."

    Before joining NIEHS, Dr. Balbus was Chief Health Scientist for the non-governmental organization Environmental Defense Fund for seven years. He was also on the faculty of The George Washington University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and Health Services, where he was founding Director of the Center for Risk Science and Public Health and Acting Chairman of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. Dr. Balbus received his A.B. degree in Biochemistry from Harvard University, his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and his M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

  • Moderator

    Dr Ramesh Dhiman

    He is working as Scientist at the National Institute of Malaria Research (ICMR), Delhi. His field of research is climate change impacts on health with emphasis on vector borne diseases and early warning of malaria outbreaks using meteorological data and satellite remote sensing. In collaboration with Michigan University, they found cumulative rainfall, vegetation index and sea surface temperature of Tropical South Atlantic Ocean as indicators for early warning of malaria in India which can be operationalized in the country. Dr Dhiman has served as reviewer of health chapter IPCC Assessment Report 2007 and 2014 and has contributed for generic protocols for assessment of impacts of climate change on vector borne diseases for World Health Organization Regional office for South-East Asia. Dr Dhiman has contributed for national communication project of MoEF and published projections of malaria transmission upto the year 2030. He is one of the National Coordinators for DST Climate Change Network. He has also represented Ministry of Health at World Meteorological Organization for Global Framework for Climate Services.

    Currently his team is working for generation of risk maps of malaria from the viewpoint of climatic, ecological and vector distribution points of view in India.

  • Speakers

    Dr Joy Shumake-Guillemot

    Topic: Global Framework for Climate Services and overview of the User Forum and its intent

    Joy Shumake-Guillemot, Officer in Charge, leads the WHO/WMO joint office for Climate and Health. She is an environmental health scientist who has worked with WHO, WMO, UNICEF and others to develop public health and development policy and programming to address climate change. Joy was the lead author of the health thematic in the design of the Global Framework for Climate Services; and the new WHO Operational Framework for Climate Resilient Health Systems. She has extensive field experience supporting public health and humanitarian programmes across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Her work focuses on translating climate science to public health action by building capacity to use of climate-informed decision-tools and risk assessments to make better health planning decisions. Joy holds an MSc in Environment and International Development from the University of East Anglia (UK), and a Doctor of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences from Johns Hopkins University (USA).

    Dr Anahit Hovsepyan

    Topic: Global Framework for Climate Services and overview of the User Forum and its intent

    Ms Anahit Hovsepyan, Scientific Officer at World Climate Applications and Services Division, Climate and Water Department, WMO. A major highlight of her work is to facilitate fostering the production and effective application of climate information and products for the benefit of society and the provision of climate services. She, inter alia, provides technical guidance and facilitates the implementation of Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOF) as well the National Climate Outlook Forums (NMHS), she also assists with the implementation and designation processes of Regional Climate Centres (RCC). Anahit holds MSc, worked more than 20 years in the Armenian Hydrometeorological Service, heading Applied Climatology, then Climate Research Divisions, was involved in multiple regional, international projects on climate variability and climate change, worked 2 years in the APEC Climate Centre (APCC), published a number of papers in scientific journals.

    Prof. Dileep Mavalankar

    Topic: Case Study of climate forecasts and climate services- heat health early warning systems

    Prof. Dileep Mavalankar has been heading the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar as its Director since 2012. Dr. Mavalankar received an MBBS and MD in Preventive and Social Medicine from Gujarat University in Ahmedabad, and MPH and Dr. P.H from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, USA. His work experience includes faculty and research positions in NHL Municipal Medical College, Ahmedabad, National Institute of Health in Bethesda, USA, Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, India and Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, NY, USA. He has worked as consultant to many agencies including Columbia University, Mother Care Project (USA), the WHO (Geneva, Western Pacific Regional Office), UNICEF (New Delhi), DANIDA, UNDP/World Bank (India), the Aga Khan Foundation, CEDPA etc. Dr. Mavalankar has authored several publications.

    Dr. Mavalankar was appointed by the Prime Minister to the high level Missions Steering Group of the National Rural Health Mission constituted by the Government of India in 2005. He is the Chair of Technical Working Group on Maternal Health by Government of India. He is also a member of the Steering Group on Health for the 12th Five year Plan of the Planning Commission of India.


Meena Sehgal


Nitish Dogra

Sector Adviser (Health & Nutrition)
TARU Leading Edge Private Limited

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