189977 An illustration of emerging complications in global disease prevention and health promotion

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sarah Elizabeth McDannold, MPH , Community Outreach Services, APS Healthcare, Columbia, MO
Alaina McCuine Oestreich , University of Missouri - Columbia, Columbia, MO
One of the most pressing issues facing the public health community is the connection between climate change and the health of our global population. Air quality, global warming, and water scarcity have become inextricably linked and pose a significant threat to the continuation of current public health status. These challenges will affect 2 out of 3 people by 2025. Due to increased access to travel and decreased access to resources, our continental borders are shrinking, resulting in the potential for an exponential rise in diseases such as pandemic flu. As temperatures mount and atmospheric conditions deteriorate, the incidence of melanoma and pulmonary disease will increase; rising sea levels will force populations to begin moving inland, concentrating the masses; and freshwater availability will be drastically reduced, inciting conflict and aggression. Climate change will be felt in many ways, including increased prevalence of natural disasters, decreased access to food supplies, and a greater vulnerability to vector-borne diseases. The presence of such factors creates negative consequences that can compound as a population ages. Political pressure will limit our ability to effectively manage new and evolving forms of disease, as it has with the eradication of poliomyelitis in African countries. Budgetary constraints will impose further restrictions as our global population continues to increase. The unique combination of these factors will pose a significant challenge to global disease prevention and health promotion. Such complications associated with climate change, resource access, and political and budgetary pressure will require innovative solutions of our emerging health professionals.

Learning Objectives:
-Develop an awareness of the pressing issues in public health and identify a complication of each. -Articulate perspectives of emerging public health professionals on the necessary acclimatization of the profession. -Elucidate feedback, enabling participants to engage in solutions to evolving complications.

Keywords: Climate Change, Challenges and Opportunities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am involved in an MPH program with an emphasis on environmental health exposures and international disaster management. I have completed sufficient coursework to present the material contained herein.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.