251107 Tools for international vulnerability and adaptation assessments

Monday, October 31, 2011: 3:15 PM

Joy Guillemot , Technical Officer, Climate Change & Human Health, World Health Organization, Geneva 27, Switzerland
Carlos Dora, MD, MsC, PhD , Public Health and the Environment, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
Climate change is adversely affecting the health of populations around the world. Climate change and health vulnerability and adaptation assessments (V&A), are a key instrument to identify and prepare for changing health risks associated with climate change. The future health impacts of climate change will depend on changing socioeconomic and environmental conditions and vary over spatial and temporal scales, as well as reflect the preparedness of communities and health systems to prevent avoidable health problems. V&A Assessments are a critical step for health authorities from national to local levels to identify which populations are most vulnerable to different kinds of health effects, identify weaknesses in the healthcare and public health systems that should protect them, and prioritize interventions to respond. V&A Assessments provide crucial evidence and understanding of the linkages between climate and health within the assessment area; and serve as a baseline analysis against which changes in disease risk and protective measures can be monitored.

In 2010 WHO and PAHO published a new technical document on Vulnerability & Adaptation Assessments, based on experience and feedback of Ministries of Health in over 15 countries. This basic and flexible guidance illustrates how to conduct a national or sub-national assessments and provides examples and references to assist users with the process. This presentation will describe the general principles and process of conducting a V&A assessment, and provide examples and insights from countries who have used V&A's to strengthen the case for investment in health protection from climate change.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the new WHO/PAHO assessment tool and approach to assessing health vulnerability and adaptation (V&A) options. 2) Provide an international perspective and examples of V&A assessments. 3) Discuss the importance and benefits of conducting national V&A assessments.

Keywords: Climate Change, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a medical epidemiologist and expert on health policy as it applies to many sectors and work internationally at the World Health Organization. I work on transport and energy policies, and strengthening governance mechanisms and national systems to manage environment health risks e.g., climate change.
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.