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Bill Gates to scientists: Develop innovations to curb climate effects on health

Bill Gates to scientists: Develop innovations to curb climate effects on health
December 04
16:06 2023

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has asked scientists to develop innovative approaches to curb climate change’s effects on human health.

Gates spoke on Saturday at the ongoing COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He said climate change affects health in multiple ways, and its impact must not be trivialised.

Gates said that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), climate change will lead to over 5 million deaths globally.

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“It’s thrilling to have a health-focused event at the COP, it makes a lot of sense because, after all, our work on climate is to improve the human condition, and health which allows people to thrive, be educated and fulfil their potential which is the ultimate measure of whether we are reducing in equity,” he said.

“Nobody would be better off in a world with fewer carbon emissions, where we’re reducing our interventions to reduce illness, starvation, and death.

“The reasons that climate affects health are multiple, we have vector-borne diseases showing up in places that they never did before.

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“The WHO has estimated that over the next two decades, climate change will be responsible through these mechanisms for over 5 million deaths.

“We have no tools that are at the lab level, that decimate mosquito populations. There’s a lot of work to be done, which will be led by scientists from all over the world, particularly African scientists, to make sure these are ready to be deployed.”

Gates said climate crisis and health must not be treated in isolation as they both are interwoven.

He called for urgent actions to be taken to reduce the rising cases of child mortality.

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“I believe that we can do both things, we can stay committed to health and not ship resources away and deal with this nexus of health and climate,” he said.

“Kids who are not malnourished are far less likely to die when they get infected with diarrhoea, pneumonia or malaria.

“We can take the lessons from those other climate investments and continue to make progress.”

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