Risk expands, but opportunity awaits: emerging evidence on climate change and health in Africa

This report presents evidence on the effects of climate change risks on the health sector in Africa. It illustrates climate threats to health and development investments and highlights opportunities to achieve health targets in Sub-Saharan Africa in the face of climate change. Included in the report is information on the basics of climate forecasting in Africa, climate change and health vulnerabilities, details of health risks (i.e. undernutrition and vector-borne diseases), response opportunities (i.e. policy response and frameworks for action), and information on future efforts. The report explains that climate change is already having a significant impact on Sub-Saharan Africa and is threatening efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable. With variable food security, uneven water and sanitation infrastructure, fragile health systems, and a range of socioeconomic challenges, Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly vulnerable to the health risks of climate change. Key risks such as undernutrition, malaria and diarrheal diseases – already leading causes of morbidity and mortality – are likely to grow as temperatures warm and rainfall becomes more variable. The report concludes that a two-fold task of understanding climate impacts on human health and integrating information into decision-making is necessary to increase resilience of health systems in Sub-Saharan Africa.