Health fosters safe and healthy environments to promote well-being and quality of life


On the occasion of World Health Day, the Ministry of Health and Families, through the General Directorate of Public Health and Pharmaceutical Regulation, has joined the campaign ‘Our planet, our health’, sponsored by the World Health Organization Health (WHO), through which it urges governments and citizens to report the measures they are adopting to protect the planet and its health and to give priority to well-being societies.

According to the WHO, climate change affects human health directly in response to changes in climate patterns such as temperature, precipitation and the occurrence of extreme weather events. Likewise, it seriously affects health and mortality: the deaths attributable to the year due to the rise in temperatures exceed the excess mortality caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the WHO, in the last decade of the 20th century there were approximately 600,000 deaths worldwide due to disasters caused by extreme weather events.

Likewise, according to Health in a press release, in the European Union, for each degree that the temperature increases, mortality increases by four percent, according to the report ‘Climate change and health’, prepared by the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine in collaboration with Lancet Countdown. In this way, it is expected that some 30,000 more people will die per year in 2030 and between 50,000 and 110,000 more in 2080.

Other relevant figures are that there are currently 57 million more vulnerable people than there were in 2000. On the other hand, the WHO estimates that the burden of mortality in Europe due to environmental determinants is between 15-20%.

The scenarios of future climatic conditions predict a substantial increase in temperatures and an increase in extreme phenomena, which will imply an increase in care pressure on health systems, by increasing the morbidity of pulmonary and cardiometabolic diseases, among which are They include diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, risk of thrombosis, cardiac arrhythmias, ischemic stroke and even cognitive impairment.

To deal with the effects on health caused by heat, the Ministry of Health and Families, through the General Directorate of Public Health and Pharmaceutical Regulation and in coordination with the Andalusian Health Service, activates each year the Plan for the Prevention of High temperatures, in the months of June to September. With this program, the aim is to minimize the effects of heat on the health of the population, with special attention to the most vulnerable groups.

During this period, information is provided to citizens to prevent the effects of the rise in the thermometer through various channels, such as the Salud Responde application, the ‘Family Open Window’ service, which works by sending messages via SMS and email and the ‘Summer and Health’ website.

Andalusia is a territory that is particularly sensitive both due to the significant impact of climate change, and due to the great variety of species that live in wetlands, distributed throughout the geography, sharing habitats with birds that can host native or imported viruses from the geographical areas they visit. during their migration.

In addition, climate change has other health effects related to air quality; photochemical contamination; water- and food-borne diseases and vector-borne diseases.

About 60% of human pathogens are of animal origin and that 75% of emerging animal diseases can be transmitted to humans, according to the latest epidemiological studies. The General Directorate of Public Health and Pharmaceutical Management is promoting, coordinating and integrating surveillance and control in different areas such as environmental, livestock, wildlife and human epidemiological surveillance with the ‘One Health’ approach, promoted by the WHO.

The loss of water quality arises as a result of floods, torrential rains and drought…, affects crops and can cause contamination of food and drinking water. In addition to having consequences in economic sectors such as tourism or employment, it can lead to an increase in water-borne diseases.

The Sanitary Control Program for Drinking Water, which verifies that the water in our homes is suitable for consumption, as well as the control of recreational water, so that bathing in swimming pools or on beaches is safe, are measures that should consider our community.

The loss of air quality, which arises as a result of the increase in fires, anticyclonic phenomena that reduce the dispersion of pollutants, the increase in O3 levels, or even the increase in the Saharan intrusion phenomenon, can lead to a greater number of respiratory, cardiovascular and allergic diseases.

For this reason, the risks associated with air pollution must be minimized through emission controls, and also through the participation, by Health and Families, in the air quality plans led in the autonomous community by the Ministry with environmental skills.

Even better known is the possibility of the appearance of new communicable diseases as a consequence, on the one hand, of the increase in temperature that favors the appearance of vectors that transmit diseases, such as West Nile fever, dengue or malaria, and on the other , caused by the loss of ecosystems and the approach of the population to certain animals.

In this area, the Strategy for the Control of Disease Transmission Vectors stands out, the most important example of which is the implementation for this year of the control of mosquitoes that can transmit the West Nile virus and the Program for the Control of Chemical Products, such as example viricides, cleaners and disinfectants.

Other initiatives aimed at promoting knowledge in environmental health are carried out through the Health and Environment Observatory of Andalusia (Osman), a project dependent on the General Directorate of Public Health and Pharmaceutical Management of the Ministry of Health and Families and managed by the Andalusian School of Public Health (EASP).

The Osman supports professionals and citizens through information, adaptation to the impacts of environmental exposures on the health of the population. Likewise, it encourages the exchange and cooperation between relevant regional, national and international agents, and promotes research and surveillance in environmental public health. THE MUNICIPALITY, THE CLOSEST ENVIRONMENT TO PROTECT THE PLANET

On the occasion of World Health Day, the ‘Andalusian Local Health Action Network’ project, promoted by the Health Promotion and Local Action Service of the General Directorate of Public Health and Pharmaceutical Regulation, has designed materials aimed at networks social, with the aim of calling for reflection on the need to protect the planet from the area closest to citizens: the municipality.

Thus, from the 198 municipalities that make up the Network, materials aimed at promoting daily actions that contribute to protecting the environment, and therefore, health itself, will be disseminated on social networks. Information is given on measures that can contribute to the reduction of emissions, promoting public transport and actions to achieve energy savings.

It is also promoted to practice the so-called three R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle); reduce packaging; consume fresh and unprocessed products; act against forest loss; use less hot water; and support renewable energy.