How climate change impacts health
Many populations in India currently suffer from high burden of vector borne diseases, heat stress-related diseases, and malnutrition. These health problems are all sensitive to seasonal variations in temperatures and precipitation patterns. These short-term variations in temperature and precipitation as well as extreme storms have been observed to be increasing in intensity due to global climate change and thus are a challenge. The major Indian states affected by these climate- sensitive conditions (i.e. malaria, heat waves and nutrition insecurity) are Odisha, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
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TERI team conducted a risk analysis for climate related health vulnerability and underweight in children under 5 years of age showing that 162 districts rate worse in both agricultural vulnerability and underweight. The team also did spatial mapping of malaria risk zones in Andhra Pradesh based on the meteorological and physical variables. This risk assessment will help prioritize action at Community Health Centres (CHCs) and Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in preventing malaria cases.
There is a need to have availability and accessibility of meteorology as well as health data to inform and modify risk programs along with targeted preventive actions. Developing partnerships to build capacity in climate and health sciences is another way to monitor and manage the health impacts of climate change.