Climate change is one of the biggest health threats in 21st centuries, that causes climate-related disaster, such as heat wave, wildfire, hurricane, extreme rainfall, flooding, sea-level rise, etc. These climate-related disaster leads to climate-sensitive health risks, e.g., zoonoses, food-, water- and vector-borne diseases, injury, heat-related illness, respiratory illness, mental health issues, etc. The progress, that has been done so far to promote global health and reduce the poverty, can be canceled by the climate crisis. What’s more, climate crisis could increase the existing inequalities in health among population worldwide. Though many countries have made a great effort in realization of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as one of the targets of Sustainable Development Goals, climate crisis could threaten the achievement of UHC by way of damaging existing healthcare infrastructure, hampering the access to healthcare service, etc.
Health workforce is a core part of healthcare system and serve for the delivery of healthcare service. Health workforce needs to deal with health harms caused by climate change and climate-related disaster. In doing so, health professional development needs to be evolved in a way of developing capacity for climate change and health. Training, education, mentoring and knowledge-sharing enhance the professional competence of health workforce. However, according to “2021 WHO HEALTH AND CLIMATE CHANGE GLOBAL SURVEY REPORT”, only 40% of countries reported training in climate change and health has been conducted in last two years. Therefore, more efforts are needed to ensure capacity-building of health workforces, covering far-reaching set of skills, on climate change and health in relation to UHC and health emergencies. It’s also highlighted to incorporate into health professional education.
The “COP26 special report on climate change and health: the health argument for climate action” recommended to train the health workforce to respond to climate change. In the PMAC side meeting, we aim to review the global context of climate change and health; core competencies for health workforce to cope with the risks of population health and health system; necessary training materials, education methods, research, programs, and updated curricula. We believe this PMAC side meeting helps gain momentum to promote health professional development in terms of climate change and health further.
・To review the impact of climate change on health and current situation of health professional development in the context of climate change and health
・To share the experience and good practice that enabled healthcare workers to prepare for health risks of population and/or system caused by climate change
・To discuss and identify policy implications and strategic actions to increase capacity for health professional education to deal with climate change and health