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A Holistic Approach to Safeguard Global Health

Climate change is ranked third, after chronic diseases and economic crises, as a threat to global health. During the Regional Conference on Climate Change and Health held in August in Malawi, Amref, along with other organizations dedicated to the continent such as AFIDEP (African Institute for Development Policy), PACJA (Panafrican Climate Justice Alliance), and the World Health Organization, shared a common African position on climate change and global health. This position harnesses the potential of the One Health approach: a collaborative approach involving various professional disciplines to achieve an optimal and integrated health condition for people, animals, and the environment. At COP28’s Health Day, Amref presented a request to promote the health and functioning of African ecosystems, improve access to preventive, informational, and curative health services for communities, and enhance the capacity of infrastructure to address the growing health challenges triggered by climate change. One of the priorities for Amref and other signatory organizations was to urge Northern countries to intensify their actions to mitigate the causes and effects of climate change, particularly through concrete commitments to reduce emissions. It is also emphasized how crucial it is to strengthen African leadership on this issue, given the serious repercussions the continent is experiencing. “Dedicating a day to health in COP28’s official program is a significant signal,” said Guglielmo Micucci, Director of Amref Italy, emphasizing to the world that it is no longer possible to separate environmental issues from those of global health.