Earth Day 2019

Nigerian doctors gear up for planetary health

“Land degradation... Global warming... Rising sea levels” – terms often associated with ecologists

and policy makers battling the scourge of pollution and its effects on the environment. Chances are that you have never considered these terms while attending to a patient battling depression or accounting for increased incidence of malaria and diarrheal disease in your practice.

More doctors, nurses and clinical specialists are increasingly becoming aware of the important linkages between humanity’s effect on Earth’s ecosystem and the rise of new and previously- thought-eradicated diseases. Today, this contemporary field is fittingly termed ‘Planetary Health’.

The Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and authoritative medical journals, today published the paper “A Call for Clinicians to Act on Planetary Health” ahead of Earth Day on Monday, April 22. This global call-to-action led by the Planetary Health Alliance – a global consortium of over 130 healthcare associations and organizations from over 30 countries around the world – reflects a broad and unprecedented commitment of the healthcare community to planetary health.

Brookfield Centre for Lifestyle Medicine (BCLM) leads the charge in Nigeria and – along with 30 other international health co-signatories including the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA); whose related March declaration served as a potent harbinger – also aims to increase awareness of the severe public health impacts of global environmental change and to mobilize clinical communities to action by joining the Clinicians for Planetary Health Initiative (#c4ph).

So, what can you do? Join the movement! #c4ph empowers healthcare professionals in understanding how global environmental change impacts their patients and enables them to promote bottom-up environmental action through patient education, outreach, and activism efforts.

The clinician is a trusted voice! Partner with #c4ph in halting new infectious disease exposure, rising heat-related mortality, declining nutrition and mental health, and all other environmental change related risks to improving patients’ health outcomes.

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