More than half of health emergencies are climate-related

/Riccardo Niels Mayer,

Brazzaville – In Africa, many health emergencies are now due to climatic conditions. This has been the case in more than half of the public health emergencies recorded in the Region over the past two decades, the World Health Organization said (WHO) yesterday with.

A WHO analysis shows that 56% of the 2,212 health emergencies recorded in Africa between 2001 and 2021 were climate-related. The WHO has warned that the entire health base of the continent is threatened by increasingly violent climatic events.

“In Africa, frequent flooding and water- and vector-borne diseases are aggravating health crises,” said WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti.

According to the WHO, waterborne diseases have accounted for around 40% of climate-related health emergencies over the past 20 years. Diarrheal diseases are the third leading cause of illness and death in children under five.

Diseases transmitted by vectors such as mosquitoes or ticks – particularly yellow fever – accounted for 28% of climate-related emergencies. In addition, natural disasters, especially floods, have “increased dramatically” since 2010 and have led to health effects such as malnutrition and hunger.

According to international aid organizations, the African Sahel is on the verge of the worst food crisis in ten years. In the next three months, 53 million people could suffer from hunger in the Sahel.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). © dpa/

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