The objective of this first global project on public health adaptation to climate change is to “increase adaptive capacity of national health system institutions, including field practitioners, to respond to climate-sensitive health risks”. This will contribute to the broader goal of ensuring that “Health sectors are able to cope with health risks resulting from climate change, including variability”.
Uzbekistan Project Objective
To pilot adaptation measures in Tashkent and Syrdarya provinces that will increase adaptation capacity of health care system in these provinces to cope with climate induced diseases.
Key Health Concerns and Vulnerability to Climate Change
Uzbekistan will have significant health affects caused by climate change and rising temperatures. Most of the health problems are related to water and its availability. Water Borne diseases play a major role in Uzbekistan's health issues. More than 30% of household's nationwide lack quality drinking water and over 1000 settlements have no potable water at all. The water quality is poor with microbial and chemical pollution due to insufficient infrastructure to treat waste water and purify drinking water. Bacterial pollution increases in warmer temperatures and is reflected in the number of cases of intestinal diseases during summer.
As an example, bacterial dysentery increases by a factor of 3 in the summer. Dust storms are a particular problem for Uzbekistan and water shortages and increasing aridity caused by climate change coupled with land degradation problems have aggravated the desertification processes. As a major consequence, this has resulted in an increased number of dust storm events. Excessive exposure to dust constitutes a major health risk for many parts of the country already. For instance, Karakalpakstan exceeds the maximum safe threshold of the concentration of total suspension particles (TSP) by more than a factor of 2. Winds transport the sand particles for long distances extending the geographic boundaries affected by this phenomenon and over 5.5 million people have become increasingly affected by the dust storms.
Results and Learning
The project aims to reduce negative impacts of climatic drivers on health by equipping health care personnel and the wider population with essential tools and knowledge to prevent the detrimental effects of climate on human health. The effective prevention will be monitored through the reduction of the risk of morbidity and mortality of acute intestinal, cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases induced by climatic factors. It will achieve this by addressing the following barriers:
- Knowledge - Health care system personnel are not fully aware of the relationship between climate change and variability and health impacts. There has been no specific training of the personnel in regard to adaptation to climate change and mitigating its negative health impacts.
- Capacity - The level of knowledge and skills to prevent diseases connected with climatic factors are also limited among the general population.
- Monitoring and surveillance - The climate and health monitoring and surveillance systems are not conducted at the right geographical and temporal scale that would allow observations of trends and make advance forecasts to direct interventions against climate sensitive diseases.
- Research - No mechanisms currently exist to give early warning to the health system and undertake preventive measures. No research is currently conducted to observe the trends and the health system does not have clearly developed indicators that would give a chance to react. Thus no early warning system has been developed.
There are no related resources for this project.
Financing Amount550,000 USD
Ministry of Healthyrl@who.ccc.uz
Dr Michel Louis Marie Tailhades
Head of WHO Country OfficeWHOoffice@who.uz
UNDP Senior Technical Advisor on Climate Change AdaptationUNDPpradeep.firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Health and Environment Department WHOWHOguillemotj@who.int
The greatest national benefit envisaged in the implementation of this program will be the enhanced awareness and capacity of health workers and the community at large. In specific, the project is focused on piloting adaptation measures in two provinces: Tashkent and Syr-Darya.