Delegation of the
Republic of Ghana

 

World Health Organization

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Effects of Climate Change on
Human Health

 

             Today inadequate healthcare delivery is one of
the global problems around the world. Victims of deadly disease are mostly
African countries, despite of the huge amount of aid through World Bank and
other international associations, diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS,
diarrheal, tuberculosis are still widespread. Main reason for these diseases
are poverty, inadequate healthcare systems, unhealthy nutrition. Ghana declared
its independence in 1957, and since then our country managed to overcome some
of its economical problems. In 1983, Ghana agreed to implement structural
adjustment programs to improve its economic development, and today we can see
the very results of these programs; with 8% annual growth in gross domestic
product (GDP), the poverty in Ghana was reduced to from 52.6% to 21.4% between
1991 and 2012, it should be noted that average African poverty rate is 43%. Extreme poverty declined even
more, dropping from 37.6% in 1991 to 9.6% in 2013. Today, we can proudly
declare that Ghana is one of the leading states in Africa in terms of
transparency and is on its way to be the second world country or even second
developed nation in the continent after South Africa. Despite Ghana’s economic
success, in 2014 only 3.6% of GDP was spent on healthcare, ranking 170th
in the list of 192 countries. Although Ghana’s healthcare system is one of the best
in the continent, but it still needs improvement. There are limited number of
hospitals, of which only 2% is for-profit. It is obvious that main pressure
falls on the government. One of the reasons for not satisfactory healthcare
system is terms IMF (International Monetary Fund) imposes on the developing
countries. Usually terms require the country to underwent austerity programs,
and as a result, governments reduce public expenditure in healthcare system. To
fight effects of climate change, it is important to have well working and
efficient healthcare system in the first place. Climate change is recognized as
a serious issue by many nations, Paris Agreement of 2015 ratified by 172
countries is undeniable proof of that. Climate change affect lives of people in
every way. Quality and quantity of water is directly affected by change in
temperature. Diseases related to water sanitation, like malaria cause the most
deaths in Ghana. Frequency of droughts and floods have increased in recent
times especially in Northern Ghana. Food security is essential for healthy
public. Diseases such as diarrheal, vomit which are closely related to healthy
nutrition are widespread in Ghana. As climate change disturbs natural water
circulation, change compound of the soil, agricultural productivity decreases.
Throughout the country, 2 million people are vulnerable to become food
insecure, and their food consumption patterns are barely acceptable and can
quickly deteriorate following a natural or man-made shock. It mainly affects
children under age of 5, and approximately, more than 10.000 or 16% of children
under age of 5 die every year due to the diarrheal diseases, and totally, 4.05%
of all deaths occur because of diarrheal. In face of such an overwhelming
facts, it should be agreed that Climate change is a threat to not only Ghana,
but to the whole world.

 

We, the Republic of Ghana, have always been
supporters of International community’s fight against world problems. To
prevent and to overcome effects of climate change, and to advance quality of
health over allover the world, we propose the following:

 

-To Soften Conditions Imposed on Developing
Countries by IMF: International
Monetary Fund’s conditions like enacting austerity or structural adjustment
programs may result in economic success but not in every case. Despite possible
economic development, cuts in spending of education, healthcare worsen well
being of population in the long run.

 

-Removal of trade barriers by advanced nations
applied to developing nations: Developed nations often employ tariffs and other trade
barriers to protect their domestic producers in sectors such agriculture and
textile. This reduces competitiveness of developing nations denies market
access to developed nations and does not let them to improve economy or expand
their industrial base, as a result developing nations can not have well working
economy to provide adequate fund to healthcare system and become more dependent
on foreign aid. Development for the sake of better health standards through
increasing trade rather than foreign trade should be prioritized in the long
term.

 

-To ensure fulfillment of obligations of
economically advanced countries: Advanced nations should fulfill their obligation as agreed by
paragraph 42 of Resolution adopted by the General Assembly 2626 (XXV) on 24
October 1970. Each advanced country should provide 0.7 % of gross national
product to official development assistance (ODA) program. Also, we call
advanced nations to join and to adhere to Paris climate accord and the like to
ensure better environment for the world citizens. All these must be done as it
is unacceptable to let unequal life standards, poverty, inadequate healthcare
deliverance in this century of the global village.