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Clim-HEALTH Africa is the International Network for Climate and Health for Africa – a group of African and international institutions, including the UN, academic, governmental and intergovernmental institutions and national and international NGOs. A Scientific Advisory Committee acts as the advisory and decision-making body, and the WHO (through AFRO/PHE) undertakes the coordination and day-to-day management of the group.
Climate change and its effects in Africa
Clim-HEALTH Africa serves as a virtual hub where expertise is shared.
Its intention is to develop the capacity of African health and climate communities, institutions, practitioners and negotiators to understand and integrate climate change challenges into policy, socio-economics, planning and programming. The aims include:
To develop mechanisms and institutional capacity for implementation of climate-based public health early warning systems in Africa.
To utilise early warning and response systems to provide timely response to climate-sensitive diseases and conditions.
To develop and implement a climate change and health communication strategy.
To provide African countries with priority support on urgent public health issues related to climate change.
To develop and test climate-informed planning and forecasting data methods and tools in national decision making.
To use evidence-based climate-informed planning and forecasting information to support environmental and public health interventions.
To roll out the use of climate-informed planning tools including early warning and early response systems in order to prevent and mitigate public health impacts of climate variability and change in Africa.
Public health priorities related to climate
Research for development
Rational and cost-effective decision-making
Equity, gender sensitivity and sustainability
The first Interministerial Conference for Health and Environment (IMCHE) was held in Africa in Libreville (Gabon). African ministers of Health and Environment from 52 African countries signed the Libreville Declaration. The aim of the declaration is to secure political commitment for catalysing the policy, institutional and investment changes required to reduce environmental threats to health, in support of sustainable development. The 11 priority actions of the Libreville Declaration commit countries to establishing a strategic alliance between health and environment as a basis for joint plans.
To facilitate the process, the WHO-UNEP Joint Task Team developed the situation analysis and needs assessment (SANA) guide. The SANA process places ecosystems at the centre and assesses environment-related health factors and risks. The development and field testing of the SANA guide took place in Gabon and Kenya.
SANA was initiated in 17 countries and completed in 12 countries. This resulted in the first SANA Synthesis Report. The second Interministerial Conference for Health and Environment (IMCHE 2) in Africa was held and the Luanda Commitment for Implementation of the Libreville Declaration.
The 14th African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) was held in Arusha, Tanzania – recalling the Libreville Declaration and Luanda Commitment and providing guidance to implement the key outcomes of Rio+20 on Sustainable Development.
The SANA process was initiated in 39 countries and completed in 19 more. The National Plans of Joint Action (NPJA) were finalised in 17 countries and Intersectoral Action reports were finalised in 8 countries. A second SANA Synthesis Report was drafted.
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as adopted by the General Assembly, were both adopted, generating renewed global impetus in addressing the environmental determinants of health.
The Marrakech Ministerial Declaration on Health, Environment and Climate Change was adopted by all African Ministers of Health at COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco.
WHO and UNFCCC launched a Special Initiative on Climate Change and Health for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) during COP23.
The Regional Strategy for the Management of Environmental Determinants of Human Health in the African Region 2017-2021 was adopted to accelerate the implementation of the Libreville Declaration.
The 3rd Global Climate and Health Conference was led by WHO, with special focus on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and an African SIDS Action plan 2019-2023 was developed.
The third Interministerial Conference for Health and Environment (IMCHE 3) in Africa was held in Libreville, Gabon, marking ten years since the Libreville Declaration was first adopted. At this meeting, the Ministers of Health and Ministers of Environment endorsed the Strategic Action Plan 2019-2029, to Scale Up Health and Environment Interventions in Africa.
The 7th SIDS Forum on Climate Change and Health was held in Cabo Verde with a call to gear up actual implementation of country action plans and efforts to access climate-related funding. The Consultation Meeting for Operationalizing a One Health Approach for vector-borne diseases in the context of climate change was also held, and a research agenda set.
The Clim-HEALTH Africa conference was postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.