Nigeria strengthens capacity to address impact of climate change on health

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A Non-Governmental Organisation, African Climate Reporters, on Monday sought the partnership of midwives to educate pregnant mothers on the impact of climate change on pregnancies.

The Patron of the NGO, Dr. Yusuf Nadabo, said during a Two –days Sensitization conference at Kaduna State School of Midwifery Tudun Wada, Kaduna, that the partnership was necessary to create the needed awareness on climate change,and to support the fight against Global warming ,and other climatic factors

Nadabo said that climate change had changed the pattern of pathogens, vectors infectious diseases and the trend to which they are spread.
Climate change has become a major challenge globally.

Human activities have several direct and indirect impacts on health. In Nigeria, the impacts of climate change are more devastating due to their vulnerability and low coping capability.

The health risks associated with climate change in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. All populations are affected by climate change, particularly the vulnerable like the children and the elderly people.

The impacts of climate change are also expected to increase over the years, which mean that some existing health challenges will increase. Therefore, it is very important for everyone to have a better knowledge and perception about climate change as it affects human health.

This is expected to inform people’s decision-making about how to reduce the impact of the amount of climate change in the nearest future. In line with this development, environmental education and awareness should be promoted by stakeholders and government to bring about the best adaptation and mitigation mechanisms among vulnerable communities.

He also said that climate change has changed the breed of mosquitoes, making them resistance to repellent, causing a set back on the fight against malaria.

“Similalrly, out breaks of diseases and continuous cases of dehydration due to climate change had also led to hormonal imbalance, causing miscarriages and premature births.
“Therefore, partnering with midwives is crucial in educating pregnant women on effect of climate change and how to avoid complications during pregnancy.
“It is our conviction that midwives are the frontlines in managing the impact of climate change in patients, “he said.

He called on the school to set up a climate change club to work with environmental expert to keep in touch with environmental issues induced by climate change.

Furthermore, Global warming is attributed to the release of carbon dioxide (CO2), greenhouse gases and other air pollutants into the environment, which would normally escape into space; these harmful gases are instead absorbed by the sunlight and solar radiation, which traps the heat that is causing the Earth to get hotter.

The major consequences associated with global warming include a rise in seal levels around the world, famine, crop failure, changes in the rainfall patterns, affects to plant and animal populations, as well as a number of serious health ailments.

While the exact risk associated with the impact of climate on public health cannot be fully quantified, the interaction between the human population and the specific infectious agent is dependent upon several factors including local environmental decline, food scarcity, poverty and crowding in affected areas,

Also speaking, Dr piman Hoffman ,the director African climate reporters , also worn pregnant women against contact with plastics, stressing that the product was one of the major causes of miscarriages in women.
According to him, plastics contains toxins which creates hormonal imbalance, leading to miscarriage.
He called on the students to be well informed and enlightened on effects of climate change to ensure women give birth safely
there should be workshops, seminars and forums on climate change adaptation and mitigation organized regularly in schools, universities, communities, religious houses, motor parks and public places. Research needs on climate change should be identified by the government and researchers.

There is also the need for children in Nigeria to be taught the foundation of a climate-smart lifestyle, environmentally friendly behaviour and protection. Furthermore, students from primary to tertiary institutions are empowered with relevant information on how to choose professions that will assist the society to solve emerging environmental problems as a consequence of climate change in Nigeria.

Adequate funding of groundbreaking researches from various multidisciplinary disciplines relating to climate change should be given priority in Nigeria. Lastly, all stakeholders should improve regional, national and local capacity to respond to public health needs during climate-related emergencies.

In her own remark, Hajiya Maryam, Abubakar,the founder women for women organization in kaduna Nigeria says, we must join hand in creating more awareness to women in both rural area and urban centre
she said,Rural women are the worse hit by climate change in African due to lack of awareness hence the need for every one to join hands in taking the campaign to the villages

she concluded by saying, Climate change is real and is affecting every sector of human development

Nigeria’s climate has been changing, evident in: increases in temperature; variable rainfall; rise in sea level and flooding; drought and desertification; land degradation; more frequent extreme weather events; affected fresh water resources and loss of biodiversity. The durations and intensities of rainfall have increased, producing large runoffs and flooding in many places in Nigeria.
Nigeria is committed to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emission by 20% unconditionally and 45% with international support, according to the Department of Climate Change.

As part of the steps towards refocusing on the climate change issues in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Environment ( FMOE) established the Department of Climate Change (DCC), saddled with the responsibilities of implementing climate change policies and programmes, More actions such as tree planting, switch to renewable energy, training and campaigns, better transport, food and energy-use choices that can result in improved health, particularly through reduced air pollution are needed in all sectors to reduce emissions of Green House Gases thereby limiting the adverse consequences of climate change.

He ended by saying that Nigeria’s climate is likely to see growing shifts in temperature, rainfall, storms, and sea • levels throughout the twenty-first century. Poor adaptive responses to these shifts could help fuel violent conflict in some areas of the country.

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