Jàmbá : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies (Apr 2019)

Climate adaptation in the public health sector in Africa: Evidence from United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change National Communications

  • Godwell Nhamo,
  • Shepherd Muchuru

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 1
pp. e1 – e10


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Climate change has potential to affect human health in various ways. Extreme temperatures and cold both result in deaths, while the changing habitats favouring the breeding of vectors could result in the spread of diseases such as malaria, cholera and typhus. This article reviews climate change adaptation measures in the African public health sector. The evidence is drawn from National Communications of 21 countries as submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This article combines the literature review and grounded theory approaches with data obtained from the UNFCCC National Communications. Among key adaptation measures emerging from the work are weather-based forecasting and early warning systems, public education and awareness, putting in place appropriate policies, surveillance, research and monitoring as well as improving public health infrastructure and technology. The study recommends that African nations should commit to address health impacts of climate change through the implementation of appropriate adaptation measures.