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“Investing in health to counter climate-related risks”

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“Investing in health to counter climate-related risks”

“The impact of climate change on health is a crucial issue and it is very important that for the first time, this year, the annual United Nations Climate Conference has included a day dedicated to health. Global health systems need to be better prepared and more resilient to address environmental crises.”

This was said by the Minister of Health, Orazio Schillaci, who spoke on Sunday 3 December at COP28 in Dubai, where he participated in the meeting of Health Ministers.

“Our national health service – he added – has so far been able to mitigate the effects of climate change but we must take further action. This means promptly identifying climate-related health risks and adopting prevention, preparedness and rapid response interventions together with innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the benefit of the climate and health.”

The Minister then recalled Italy’s commitment “in promoting a One Health vision of health to address risks deriving from the interconnection between human, animal and ecosystem health. In particular, – he explained – the Ministry of Health, within the PNRR, is implementing an important ‘Health, Environment, Biodiversity and Climate’ project to strengthen and improve the prevention and response of the National Health Service to acute and chronic diseases associated with environmental and climate risks. Infrastructure interventions and the strengthening of networks as well as professional capabilities are underway for an investment of 500 million euros. A communication campaign was also activated on preventive measures to deal with heat waves which had positive results correlated to the reduction in mortality of the elderly and frail. Furthermore, we are committed to national and international policies to ensure access to safe drinking water for all.”

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The Minister concluded by hoping that the health dimension will continue to be an integral part of the response strategy to climate change and this commitment will also continue in the context of the Italian presidency of the next G7.

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