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Climate change is already damaging health of children, says Lancet report

  • Category
    Social Issues
  • Published
    19th Nov, 2019

Climate change poses an unprecedented health risk to children and is already having “persistent and pervasive” effects that will last throughout their lives, a major new study has warned.

Context

Climate change poses an unprecedented health risk to children and is already having “persistent and pervasive” effects that will last throughout their lives, a major new study has warned.

About/Outcomes of the report

  • The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change’ is a comprehensive yearly analysis tracking progress across 41 key indicators.
  • Without drastic reductions in emissions, escalating temperature increases will burden the next generation with high levels of malnutrition, weaker immune systems and higher risk of premature death.
  • As temperatures rise, study predicts a reduction in yields of staple crops such as maize, rice and soybean, which will cause prices to rise and leave infants vulnerable to malnutrition, resulting in stunted growth and long-term developmental problems.
  • Small children are particularly vulnerable to rises in infectious diseases caused by increasing temperatures and changing rainfall patterns.
  • Warmer temperatures caused an increase in the spread of a bacteria that causes diarrhoeal diseases and wound infections.
  • Over the past 30 years the number of climatically suitable days for Vibrio bacteria (which causes diarrhoea) to thrive have doubled.
  • Dengue is also on the spread.
  • The damage done in early childhood is persistent and pervasive, with health consequences lasting for a lifetime.

The Lancet

  • The Lancet is a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal.
  • It is among the world's oldest, most prestigious, and best known general medical journals.
  • The journal was founded in 1823 by Thomas Wakley, an English surgeon who named it after the surgical instrument called a lancet.
  • The journal publishes original research articles, review articles, editorials, book reviews, correspondence, as well as news features and case reports.
  • The journal has editorial offices in London, New York, and Beijing.
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