Using climate information in the health sector
09 Feb 2009
1Ministry of Health, P.O. Box 1234, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2National Meteorological Agency, P.O. Box 1090, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
3Anti Malaria Association, P.O. Box 27279, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
4Center for National Health Development in Ethiopia, P.O. Box 664, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
5International Research Institute for Climate & Society (IRI), The Earth Institute at Columbia University, 119 Monell, Lamont Campus, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, New York 10964-8000, USA
6Health and Climate Foundation, 1425 K St. NW Suite 350, Washington DC 20005, USA
Abstract. Many infectious and chronic diseases are either directly or indirectly sensitive to the climate. Managing this climate sensitivity more effectively requires new working relationships between the health sector and the providers of climate data and information. In Africa, where communities are particularly vulnerable, Ministries of Health and National Meteorological Services need to collaborate to reduce the burden of climate-related ill health.
The Ministry of Health and the National Meteorological Agency of Ethiopia have made significant progress towards the development of a climate-informed early warning and response system for diseases such as malaria and other climate-sensitive diseases. An important enabling mechanism is a Climate and Health Working Group, which is a multi-sectoral partnership created to spearhead the use of climate information for health interventions. While this is a work in progress, the key ingredients necessary to sustain such a joint venture are described to encourage similar activities in other countries faced with a growing climate-sensitive disease burden, to facilitate networking and to increase the return from the investment.