Hazards in our environment affect our health and well-being
The environment (e.g. exposure to disease, pollution, noise and extreme weather conditions) can affect our health and well-being in many different ways. In the last decade, more than 2.6 billion people have been affected by disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, cyclones, heat waves, floods, or severe cold weather (WHO 2019a). Not only do these affect the environment but also our health and well-being. Hazards and health emergencies can affect health in many ways (WHO):
- Increase in morbidity, mortality and disabilities
- Severe disruptions of health system - interfere with health service delivery through damage and destruction of health facilities, interruption of health programmes, loss of health staff, and overburdening of clinical services
- Large financial costs to individuals as well as nationally and
- May result in long term health effects.
As temperatures rise, the effects of extreme heat are a growing concern. However, it is not always possible to obtain information that enables us to examine the effects of heat at a local level due to a lack of available data.
Heat risks in Mozambique and how this can affect health
Spatial and temporal variation of heat events in Mozambique and what this means at a local city level.
As global temperatures continue to rise due to climate change, heat extremes are increasingly being observed globally. Heatwaves are amongst the deadliest disasters and pose a serious threat to the health of the population, as well as impacting labour productivity, agricultural crops, physical infrastructure, and essential services. Reporting on heatwaves and analyzing impacts locally is crucial to developing operational thresholds for early warning systems, ultimately reducing the risk of extreme heat.
To date, heat-health research has mainly been conducted in high-income, mid-latitude countries, and is lacking across the African continent. Although heatwaves do occur in many African countries, these events have largely been under-reported and understudied - therefore the impacts remain simply unknown.
Thus, the main aims of this project are to increase our understanding of extreme heat events in Mozambique, one of Africa's most vulnerable countries to climate change risks, and better understand the impacts this has on the human health so that we can better inform the development of relevant heat-health action plans.