More than 250 health journals call on world leaders for climate justice for Africa

More than 250 health journals from around the world have joined together to simultaneously publish an editorial urging world leaders to do climate justice for africa before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27)to perform in Cairo (Egypt) in November.

The editorial, authored by 16 editors from Africa’s leading biomedical journals, including African Health Sciences, African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine s East African Medical Journal, is published simultaneously in 50 African journals. In addition, in other important international medical journals, such as the BMJ, the lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, National Medical Journal of India s australia medical journal.

The climate crisis has affected the environmental and social determinants of health across Africa, leading to devastating health effects, the authors explain.

Never have so many magazines come together to make the same appeal, reflecting the gravity of the climate change emergency facing the world, editors say.

The authors say that Africa has suffered disproportionately, although it has done little to provoke the crisis, and urge rich nations to increase support for Africa and vulnerable countries to deal with the past, present and future impacts of climate change. The climate crisis has affected the environmental and social determinants of health across Africa, leading to devastating health effects, the authors explain.

Floods, forced migration and malnutrition

In West and Central Africa, for example, severe flooding has led to mortality and forced migration through the loss of shelter, farmland and livestock, while extreme weather damages water and food supplies, increasing food insecurity and malnutrition, which causes 1.7 million deaths annually in Africa.

Changes in vector ecology caused by flooding and damage to environmental hygiene also caused rise in malaria, dengue, Ebola virus and other infectious diseases across sub-Saharan Africa.

In total, the climate crisis is estimated to have destroyed a fifth of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the countries most vulnerable to climate shocks.

The damage suffered by Africa should be of grave concern to all nations, they write, because in an interconnected world, leaving countries at the mercy of environmental disturbances creates instability that has serious consequences for all nations.

They say reaching the $100 billion annual climate finance target is now “globally critical if we are to avoid the systemic risks of leaving societies in crisis”, and say that additional resources for loss and damage must now also be introduced.

They recognize that some progress has already been made, such as the early warning systems and the defense infrastructure against extreme events, but point out that frontline countries do not receive compensation for the impacts of a crisis they did not cause.

This is not only unfair, but also fuels the spiral of global destabilization, as nations spend money responding to disasters but can no longer afford greater resilience or reduce the underlying problem by reducing emissions, they warn.

Product of global inaction

“The climate crisis is the product of global inaction and takes a heavy toll not just on disproportionately affected African countries, but on the entire world,” they write. “Africa joins other frontline regions in urging rich nations to finally step up, if only because the crisis on the continent will sooner or later spread and engulf every corner of the planet, at which point it can be too late to respond effectively.

“If so far they have not been convinced by moral arguments, it is to be expected that now their own interest prevails”, they emphasize.

We must start acting now, and start where it hurts most, in Africa. If this is not done, the crisis will soon become everyone’s problem.

Lukoye Atwoli, professor and dean of East African Medical College

Lukoye AtwoliProfessor and Dean of East African Medical College and Associate Director of the Brain and Mind Institute, said: “It is high time the global community recognized that the climate crisis, while disproportionately affecting the continent, is a global crisis. , and start where it hurts the most, in Africa. If we don’t act, the crisis will soon become everyone’s problem”.

For your part, Bob Mashmagazine editor African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine and president of the South African Academy of Family Physicians, said: “In Africa, we are already seeing the devastating effects of climate change on people’s health and the need to strengthen community-oriented primary health care is now more than Never”.

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