Global climate is changing due to various reasons. As a result, our earth is becoming warmer affecting our lives adversely. Though, climate change has some benefits also, its negative health effects overshadow the benefits. According to a study by UCL academics in 2009, climate change and global warming is the biggest threat to human health in the 21st century. Number of diseases and deaths has increased due to these changes. Higher air temperature may aggravate cardiovascular and respiratory problems. Many harmful toxins like ozone concentrate at ground level and pose a threat to people with asthma and other lung diseases.
Rising temperatures affect the death directly in two contrasting ways: higher temperature in winter decreases deaths from cold, while in summer, heat-related deaths increase. But this depends on the existing climate in a particular region. Secondly, global warming creates favorable conditions for vectors spreading contagious diseases like dengue fever, West Nile Virus, and Malaria. According to World Health Organization, many insect-borne diseases will increase in Britain and Europe due to global warming, because if the northern Europe gets hotter, many insects carrying dangerous diseases like encephalitis, Lyme disease, visceral leishmaniasis, will spread in. The spread of these diseases affects the whole world both economically and health wise, because a lot of money is required to eradicate or control them by vaccination, draining swamps and spraying insecticides, pesticides, etc.
Regarding children’s health, the American Academy of Pediatrics delivered the policy statement ‘Global Climate Change and Children’s Health’ in 2007, which says that children are more vulnerable compared with other age-groups, to the impacts of global warming. The main direct health impacts of climate change are injury and death from extreme weather conditions and natural calamities, increase in climate-sensitive contagious diseases, air-pollution related diseases, and more heat-related fatal diseases.
According to a UNICEF UK Report of 2008, global warming has already affected the quality of the world’s most exposed children’s lives and it has become harder to fulfill the UN Millennium Development Goals. There will not be sufficient clean water and food, especially in Africa and Asia, due to global warming. Natural calamities, violence and diseases will be more recurrent and powerful, making our lives and the future of this earth miserable. Therefore, to beware of these fatal consequences, each and everyone should contribute towards minimizing the global warming.