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Controlling and preventing climate-sensitive noncommunicable diseases in urban sub-Saharan Africa.

08:00 EDT 9th March 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Controlling and preventing climate-sensitive noncommunicable diseases in urban sub-Saharan Africa."

Research continues to highlight the link between climate change and health outcomes. There is, however, limited evidence in research, policies and in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) about the impact of environmental factors on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) for people living in urban areas of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Important is that 80% of NCDs are taking place in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and linked to a third of the deaths in SSA. The question is, what would these statistics look like if environmental risk factors (e.g., pollution, chemicals) for NCDs, linked to climate change, were prevented and controlled. This article presents a framework for understanding climatic pathways' impacts on climate-sensitive NCDs and achieving the SDGs. It further explains how current global mitigation interventions in high income urban settings, with implied health co-benefits for NCD reduction (i.e., promoting use of less polluting vehicles, bicycles, walking, public transport, green spaces), experience major implementation challenges in SSA cities (i.e., too costly, lack of availability, poor road conditions, gender and cultural norms, security problems). Recommendations are made for applying this framework to control climate change impacts on NCDs and achieving the SDGs in SSA cities. These include, support for more research on the climate - NCD nexus, ensuring health professional training includes sustainable health education, and including a focus on climate change and health in primary and secondary school curricula. Further recommendations for addressing climate-sensitive NCDs and urban environmental health towards achieving and sustaining the SDGs, are linked to promoting climate-sensitive and health policies and governance, as well as controlling the influence of advertising. Lastly, improving communication of research findings for policy makers and the public in a manner for informed policy making, and how to comprehend this information to promote the reduction and prevention of NCDs in urban SSA, is key.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: The Science of the total environment
ISSN: 1879-1026
Pages: 137772

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