In his keynote address at the National Workshop on Climate Change and Human Health which began this morning at Bandos Island Resort, Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has focused on the urgent need to protect the people from the effects of climate change on human health and security.

Stating that climate change was increasing the vulnerability of Small Island Developing States, Dr Waheed said that adaptation to climate change was now one of the greatest challenges.

“Climate change is not only eroding the land beneath us, it is making what ever is left unlivable”, said Dr Waheed.

Vice President outlining five measures that was needed to be taken to address the issue:

- Have better understanding of how climate change is impacting on human health
- Build capacity to respond to epidemics, and strengthen the systems for prevention and treatment for frequent and more intensive outbreaks
- Have well developed emergency preparedness plans, early warning systems and institutional capacities for rapid response
- Development plans must address the progressively deteriorating environment and depletion of natural resources
- Create public awareness and participation in health lifestyles and in the preservation of the environment

Highlighting the many natural disasters that had occurred across the world during the past couple of weeks, Dr Waheed said that it was not normal to have so many natural disasters in such a short time.

“Nations and the world community must prepare for these extra ordinary events and be ready with well-coordinated contingency plans and resources effectively to save lives”, said Dr Waheed.

The workshop is organised by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with World Health Organisation. It will be held from 5th to 7th of this month.