The terrible repercussions that could arise from pollution and global warming remaining uncontrolled have been discussed for years in scholarly publications devoted to the earth sciences.
One of the oldest medical magazines in the country has now made a commitment to raising awareness among the general public of the negative health implications of global climate change.
The New England Journal of Medicine is increasing its coverage of the connection between climate change and public health, starting with a series on the negative health effects of fossil fuel use, starting with the issue that will be released on Thursday. In the future, the Journal intends to regularly address the subject both on its pages and in its linked periodicals.
Family and children are likely to suffer the most from long-term climate change difficulties, according to one of the authors, Kari Nadeau, the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research director, and the Naddisy Foundation Endowed Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Stanford University.
For instance, Nadeau observed, “my children will witness three times as many extreme climate change events as their grandparents did.” “In their lifetime, 5 million people will die worldwide as a result of climate change; thus, we must truly concentrate our efforts on educating people on how to reduce the effects of and adapt to climate change. These are the tools we have.
We can take action today because it is an urgent situation.
According to a deputy editor at the journal, the article is just the start of much-needed attention on the effects of climate challenges by top academics in the medical community.
Caren Solomon, the journal’s deputy editor, said she and others felt compelled to redouble their efforts to address the implications for health after the editors of 200 health journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, signed an editorial in September 2021 urging the world leaders to take action against climate change.
Solomon, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a primary care physician, said, “We’re coming together and trying to approach this problem from a number of views. She expressed her hope that the show would benefit physicians and their patients, as well as that it would inspire more people to take action on climate change by educating them about the problem.
The effects of climate change on children’s health—both physically and emotionally—are “a growing concern,” according to Nadeau and her co-author Frederica Perera, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University and the director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health.
All children are in danger, according to Nadeau and Perera, but those who are socially and economically underprivileged bear the brunt of this risk the most. Health providers must be aware of the numerous problems that air pollution and climate change do to children and employ the available mitigation techniques in order to protect their patients’ health.
These strategies, according to the authors, include the use of home air filtration systems, education about the air quality index and pollen monitoring, development of a heat action plan, mental health counseling related to climate change or displacement, and education about pollen monitoring and the air quality index.
According to the authors, health professionals “have the power to protect the children they care for by screening to identify those at high risk for associated health consequences; by educating them, their families, and others more broadly about these risks and effective interventions; and by advocating for strong mitigation and adaptation strategies.”
Working with families to record the effects of the climate on health that they are personally experiencing has been one technique.
Asthma affects one in four kids in Newark, New Jersey, according to campaigner Kim Gaddy. She added that as a Black mother living in a very polluted city, she is all too familiar with the hardship of the illness because three of her children and she also suffer from asthma. Her oldest passed away from a heart attack last summer at the age of 32.
Gaddy is the national director for Clean Water Action’s environmental justice program and the founder of The South Ward Environmental Alliance. She claimed that in order to find out how common asthma was in her city, she joined together with a group of healthcare experts. The information they gathered showed that she was correct in thinking that Newark has one of the highest incidences of asthma among youngsters.
Kim, you are right on the money—one out of four—they said after studying what was happening with asthma, Gaddy added. We need the approval of the health officials, who frequently don’t sit at the same table as us. Additionally, it’s wonderful that we can collaborate with a pediatrician and nurses who can now communicate with these platforms and share information.
The New England Journal of Medicine is hoping that these kinds of collaborations will be sparked by its series.
The decision to publish this paper and more on health and climate change is a “watershed moment,” according to the physician and interim head of The Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Aaron Bernstein.
“Pollution is often not a topic covered in the medical literature. According to Bernstein, “Treatments, new medications, new procedures, and new tests are the main topics of medical publications. “The New England Journal is really driving a stake through this situation.”
The essay is an acknowledgment that global warming can jeopardize many of those medical breakthroughs for a publication at the vanguard of research into medical testing, treatments, and technologies.
I believe this item in the series is a marker that all of the advancements in medical care that we have worked so hard to make are in jeopardy due to climate change, he added. If we don’t take action on climate, we won’t be able to put all these fantastic advancements into practice—the new drugs and tests—that they’re reporting about.
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