Dangerous effects on public health due to climate change

Abu Baker :: Climate change causing serious and dangerous effects on public health in Bangladesh. Climate change and the likely impacts of global warming are constantly on the global news agenda. Less often addressed is how climate change will affect developing countries and, specifically, the public health of those countries. Bangladesh as a developing country cannot overcome the loss of health. The same condition for other developing countries.

In Bangladesh, the scientists recently have begun considering how climate change may affect on public health. They are also trying to find out the real impact on public health in Bangladesh in general. The scientists primarily found that climate change has deep impact on public health.

Generally climate change increases asthma, respiratory allergies, cardiovascular disease, waterborne diseases, foodborne diseases and lake nutrition. Beside that scientists found that there is a serious mental health and stress-related disorders due to climate change. Weather-related morbidity and mortality are found in Bangladesh. Though there is no fixed data about it but causing of climate change have deep impact on human development.

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) recently did a research about effects on public health due to climate change. This famous institution thinks that, climate change has important effects on the prevalence of infectious diseases in Bangladesh. Though currently Malaria is not considered a major challenge in the national health sector program because it is limited to ‘minority’ populations in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and similar areas, but over 10 million people are at risk of malaria. The Anopheles mosquitoes tend to prefer a temperature range from 24 to 27 degrees Celsius. If the overall temperature were to rise as predicted, their habitat may be reduced, leading to a possible decrease in malaria with climate change.

Not only Malaria but also Dengue is also a problem periodically in Bangladesh and more government emphasis has been on improving treatment, mainly through dehydration. It is possible that global warming would produce more rapid replication of the dengue virus. Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), also known as kala azar in this region, occurs in approximately 14 northern districts (of 64 nationwide) and is moving south. At least 20 million people in more than 27 districts are at full risk. The estimated cumulative disease-specific burden is 35 000 cases.

Dr. Atiq Rahman, a world famous climate specialist said in his research named ‘Climate change and its impact on health in Bangladesh’  that, climate plays an important role in the seasonal pattern or temporal distribution of malaria, dengue, tick-borne diseases, cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases. He also said, climate change is projected to increase the burden of diarrhoeal diseases in low-income regions with approximately 2% to 5% in 2020. Countries with an annual gross domestic product per capita of US$ 6000 or more are assumed to have no additional risk of diarrhoea. Endemic morbidity and mortality due to diarrhoeal disease primarily associated with floods and droughts are expected to rise in East, South and South-East Asia due to projected changes in the hydrological cycle associated with global warming. Furthermore, the increase in the coastal water temperature would exacerbate the abundance and/or toxicity of cholera in South Asia.

Same thing also thinks ICDDR,B. They also think that cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases are an obvious risk in Bangladesh. There is a link between cholera outbreaks and blooms of blue-green algae. These blooms are in turn associated with rising concentrations of phytoplankton that follow El Nino, the well known warm phase of the large warm/cold oscillation in the water and the atmosphere of the Pacific region that has been described as the world’s largest and most powerful weather engine.

World Bank said that, Bangladesh is vulnerable to outbreaks of infectious, waterborne and other types of diseases. To get relief from this situation, Bangladesh has to improve water supply and sanitation management, protect water resources, and obviously maintain hygienic practices at individual and community levels.

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