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The Geneva Learning Foundation at COP28
Before, during, and after COP28, we are advocating for the recognition and support of health workers as trusted advisers to communities bearing the brunt of climate change effects on health.
Get insights from health workers on the frontline of climate change and health
On the frontline of climate change and health: A health worker eyewitness report is our special report that includes a compendium and analysis of more than 1200 health workers’ observations and insights from 68 countries.
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Why focus on health workers?
This landmark report – a global first – aims to contribute to efforts to ensure that health workers in the Global South are recognized as:
- the people already having to manage the impacts of climate change on health;
- an essential voice to listen to in order to understand climate impacts on health; and
- a potentially critical group to work with to protect the health of communities in the face of a changing climate.
“Going back home to the community where I grew up as a child, I was shocked to see that most of the rivers we used to swim and fish in have all dried up, and those that are still there have become very shallow so that you can easily walk through a river you required a boat to cross in years past.
Samuel Chukwuemeka Obasi
Health professional from Nigeria
Why should we be listening to, learning from, and supporting health workers?
Local communities in the poorest countries are already bearing the brunt of climate change effects on health.
Local solutions are needed.
Health workers are trusted advisors to the communities they serve.
They are already facing the immediate challenges of the health impacts experienced by their local communities.
On 28 July 2023, 4,700 health workers began learning from each other through the Geneva Learning Foundation’s platform, community, and network.
Thousands more are connecting with each other, because they want to.
It is our duty to support them.
Key insights from health workers include:
- Health impacts are wide-ranging, including increasing malnutrition due to crop failure, a resurgence in infectious diseases, widespread mental health impacts, and reduced access to health services.
- Climate change is interacting with other environmental disruption, driving ecological changes with multiple implications for health.
- Communities typically experience multiple climate-related health effects, frequently the result of complex pathways of causation, and often inextricably linked to social disruption such as loss of livelihoods, property or displacement.
- Certain communities and groups are particularly vulnerable, including children, women and older people, and those such as subsistence farmers and pastoralists who lack the resilience to withstand climate-related challenges.
- Environmental and health impacts reported are typically not new – climate change is amplifying the existing challenges facing communities with limited capacity to respond.
We honor the 4,700 health professionals who began sharing and learning from each other on 28 July 2023.
We honour health staff from immunization and other areas of health – environmental health and One Health, but also those who fight neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), HIV, and other ailments.
We also honour allies, including human rights advocates, those working to decolonize global health, fighting for gender and racial equity as well as economic justice.
About The Geneva Learning Foundation
The Geneva Learning Foundation (TGLF) hosts the largest and fastest-growing community of national and sub-national immunization professionals, with over 46,000 active contributors from over 100 countries, as of August 2022. Over half work for their ministry of health and most work in districts and health facilities.
About the Foundation’s Insights Unit
The Insights Unit is the Foundation’s research and analysis group. We consolidate and communicate the contributions of learners in the Foundation’s programmes to share back to participants, governments, civil society and development partners.LEARN MORE