New project, funded by the Government of Flanders, helps build climate-resilient health systems in Mozambique

24 May 2018

As one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate variability and long-term climate change, climatic impacts are felt by the population of Mozambique in a variety of ways. Most significantly, climate change and climate variability impact one of the core determinants of wellbeing: human health.

A high proportion of Mozambique’s total disease burden consists of climate-sensitive diseases, such as malaria and diarrheal disease—diseases that disproportionally affect rural populations, women and children. Moreover, significant health determinants, such as water and sanitation systems and food production systems, are vulnerable to climate variability, climate change, and the recurrent extreme weather events suffered by the country (i.e. floods, cyclones and droughts). These vulnerabilities, combined with poor adaptive capacity of the health system and a lack of investment in training and advanced technology, contribute to current poor national health outcomes.

Climate models project that Mozambique will experience higher temperatures, delayed onset of the rainy season in some regions, and an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, all of which will exacerbate existing challenges within the national health system.

In response to the increased health risks posed by climate variability and change, WHO-Mozambique, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the National Institute of Health, began a new four-year project in January 2018.

The project, funded by the Government of Flanders, aims to strengthen the climate-resilience of Mozambique’s National Health System to enable it to better prepare for, cope with, and manage the health risks posed by climate variability and change. The ultimate goal of the project will be to strengthen the resilience of the health system and to facilitate sustained improvements in population health outcomes within the context of an unstable and unpredictable climate. 

What are the objectives of the project?

This project works on three tiers to:

  • Improve governance, institutional and human capacity;
  • Strengthen existing climate-sensitive disease surveillance systems, and scientific evidence on health impacts from climate change;
  • Build the resilience of vulnerable health policies, strategies, programmes and plans.

This new initiative marks a significant step towards a more resilient future for Mozambique. Above and beyond the specific project objectives, this project will significantly contribute to several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specially SDG 3 and SDG 13, and key country development priorities. The human and institutional capacity built within Ministry of Health, including policy improvement, multi-sectoral coordination mechanisms, and the ability to combat immediate and long-term climate risks, will continue to provide benefits in health decision-making and programming beyond the lifespan of this project.

To keep up-to-date with this exciting new project, check