VP: Study links between climate change, diseases

By Marc Nkwame , The Guardian
Published at 03:37 AM Jun 20 2024
Vice President Dr Philip Mpango
Photo: File
Vice President Dr Philip Mpango

VICE President Dr Philip Mpango has urged health experts in the eastern, central and southern Africa region to embark on detailed research on how global climate change contributes to the emergence of new disease characteristics.

Closing the golden jubilee event for health experts known as the regional health community (ECSA-HC) here yesterday, the VP pointed out that weather phenomena and catastrophes they induce make various ailments acquire new characteristics.

“Early research will help us come up with new medical solutions,” he stated, while Health minister Ummy Mwalimu highlighted the fact that some parasites are becoming resistant to medication.

This needs extensive studies beyond the current preoccupation with misuse of medical drugs, she told the gathering, at the climax of the 50th anniversary milestone in consultations on the development of the health sector in the region.

Tanzania, which hosts the ECSA-HC secretariat, is disposed to support its activities.

The VP is expected to grace the ministerial conference at the concluding session, while the minister asserted that ECSA-HC has a vital role in setting out arrangements for training, research and grooming medical experts in the region.

Prof Yoswa Gambisya, the ECSA-HC executive director, said that during the preceding week the member states showcased achievements of ECSA operations in the past half century.

The secretariat expects to closely work with the World Health Organization (WHO) to come up with effective solutions regarding emerging diseases in Africa, he stated.

He said that ECSA-HC operations had proved to be resilient, given the high mortality rate of professional organizations in the region, some hardly surviving beyond two years.

Earlier it was aired that the member states are exploring the possibility of establishing joint pharmaceutical industries to reduce dependency on foreign imports.

That matter came up during the best practices forum and joint consultative committee meeting, as part of events at the golden jubilee memoriam.

Prof Dingani Moyo, a Zimbabwean medical sector activist, said last week that African countries can come up with contractual pharmaceutical industries, to contain diseases and make treatments more affordable.