Decisions taken at the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Health hosted in Milan have followed an intense dialogue with the international scientific community on the most efficient strategies to be adopted to deal with the impact of climate changes on health on a global scale in the near future.
Since January 2017 and the beginning of preparatory works, the Italian Ministry of Health welcomed a team of researchers from Ca' Foscari University of Venice coordinated by professor Stefano Campostrini, in collaboration with Foresight, an interdepartmental project of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Cnr). Together they designed a questionnaire that was sent out to experts around the world, especially to G7 countries and countries that are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Reducing emissions and reinforcing surveillance systems were identified by scientists as two of the most urgent global measures to be adopted.
The change of frequency of extreme events such as heat waves, heavy rains and droughts has direct effects on the health of human beings and animals. Spikes in mortality were registered in more fragile and vulnerable populations. The impacts of the environment have indirect effects on animal and human health conditions, by altering living and working environments.
In such a context, the Italian presidency of the G7 has drawn the governments' attention to global strategies to tackle risks linked to climate changes and identified actions of mitigation and adaptation. The investigation included more than 700 experts from around the world and gathered the insights of about 200 of them. Experts were selected by the delegations of the G7 nations including Italy, by the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the European Commission, the EFSA, and the OECD.
Focus on Antimicrobial resistance
Experts have highlighted how urgent it is to adopt a global plan of action on antimicrobial resistance in cooperation with the WHO, the FAO and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and to encourage the adoption of national plans with an emphasis on supporting the appropriate use of antibiotics, improving prevention and promoting field research.
The G7 supporting countries at higher risk
The study invites the G7 nations to take action and concrete steps to improve water infrastructures and the quality of water in countries at higher risk. Vector borne diseases, the strengthening of the health systems and immunization programmes are set as additional priorities.