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Health professionals meet to further the climate change and health agenda

WHO / Nitsebiho Asrat
WHO / Nitsebiho Asrat

Health leaders, health professions and their associations, institutions and schools convened in Geneva on 10 June to discuss the contributions of health professions to the climate change and health agenda. The hybrid format meeting hosted over 150 contributors and sparked insightful discussions from all sectors of the health community.

“To strengthen national capacity for public health and for climate action, we must ensure alignment and synergies between the capability of institutions and the competencies of individuals. This is at the heart of delivering on the essential public health functions,” said Jim Campbell, Director of the WHO Health Workforce Department.

Senior officials representing the World Health Professions Alliance, World Federation of Public Health Associations, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and the United Kingdom Faculty of Public Health presented their programme of work on climate and health. The interactive session aimed at identifying partnerships, opportunities and actions to accelerate WHO’s work on climate change and health systems over the next 3 years.

Participants highlighted the need for capacity building to effectively advocate for climate action in their communities and to accelerate progress on resilient, low-carbon health systems in their own contexts. The participants also recognized that health professionals were well placed as leaders in the fight against climate change and influencers of decisions at the highest levels.

“Health professionals are on the frontline of the climate crisis,” said Dr Maria Neira, Director of the WHO Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health. “In our fight for survival during this crisis, health professionals are our most trusted advocates for serious climate action.”

The meeting concluded with upcoming opportunities for consultations and engagement with the constituencies in support of the implementation of the World Health Assembly resolution on climate change and health.

This meeting is the first in a series of consultations on climate change and health for health professionals. 

The recording of the first consultation is available on the dedicated webpage.

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