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Submitted by Patricio V Marquez on

Thanks again for sharing your views on this matter. Besides The Lancet Commission Report mentioned in the blog, recent research funded by the respected US National Science Foundation -National Institutes of Health Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases Program and published in the journal Science, points out that there is a direct risk for human health from pathogens like dengue, malaria and cholera, which are all linked to warmer temperatures, and from increasing parasitism. And that significant indirect risk also exists in threats to agricultural systems and game species that are crucial for subsistence and cultural activities.

See attached link: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?org=NSF&cntn_id=128617&preview=false

As you advocate, added attention and investment to strengthen the capacity of health systems is indeed a pressing need, particularly to strengthen much neglected and underfunded essential public health infrastructures such as disease surveillance systems, with strong laboratory capacity and epidemiological know how for data collection, reporting, assessment, policy making, program design, implementation, and impact evaluation. If this is done on a sustainable manner, the predictions on the intersection between infectious diseases and climate change could help provide valuable inputs for the design and implementation of actions that could be taken in a health system and across sectors to minimize or control climate change-related direct and indirect health risks and outbreaks of disease.

As the authors of the Science article suggest, those actions might involve more monitoring and surveillance, adjusting the timing of vector control measures and adopting new management measures.

The good news for people like you and me that care about health investments is that with the growing attention across the world placed on Universal Health Coverage that includes financial protection to minimize the impoverishment impact of ill health, premature death and disability on individuals, families and communities; expansion of access to quality health services when needed; and coordinated multisectoral action for health promotion and disease prevention, there is now an unprecedented opportunity to advance the health agenda and contribute to the improvement of the health status of the population and hence to overall social wellbeing in the years to come.