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On occasion of the 2008 “World Health Day” the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the World Health Organisation held a conference on “Protecting Health from Climate Change” on 7 April 2008.

2008 World Health Day focused on the need to protect health from the adverse effects of climate change. The theme was selected in recognition that climate change is posing ever growing threats to global public health security.

The celebration of the World Health Day started with an speech by the Slovenian Director General of Public Health, Marija Seljak, who underlined that climate change – related health impacts are avoidable or controllable if well known an well-tested public health interventions are applied.

Dr. Menabde, Deputy Regional Directore of WHO/Europe, explained that health systems play a key role and have the knowledge and skills to respond to this situation. Yet, cross-sector partnerships are necessary to meet this global health threat and health must be at the center of climate change action and policy response.

According to Dr. Menabde health is one of the areas most affected by climate change and many countries across the WHO European Region are already experiencing climate change related health impacts. “A number of health conditions will be exacerbated through climate change”, said Dr. Menabe. As the health effects of climate change are already being observed, the EU should quickly boost its response capacity by improving early warning and surveillance of infectious diseases and establishing a sound communication system with the population, Dr Menabde said in an interview with Euractiv.

The World Health Day collected a panel of speakers from the European Commission, the European Parliament and civil-society partners who outlined how the various stakeholders contribute to the EU Union debate on climate change and its implications on health for the Europeans.

Fort further information

World Health Day 2008: protecting health from climate change
Interview: Climate change will exacerbate health problems
World Health Day
Slovenian Presidency
World Health Organisation
European Commission
EU Parliament

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