Health Workers Should Ensure Planetary, Personal Health Addressed Together

Salon: The planet is the patient now: how doctors and nurses are the front-line solution to climate change
Kinari Webb, founder of Health In Harmony, and Courtney Howard, board member of the Global Climate and Health Alliance and emergency physician

“…Despite the hard-won public health gains of the past century, we are rapidly faced with the negative health impacts of degraded air quality, threatened food production, new infectious disease exposures, decreasing access to fresh water, and more frequent natural disasters. Humanity is, consequently, more and more susceptible to malnutrition, mental health illness, injury, and disease. In other words, the health of human civilization is at risk as humans dismantle the natural, ecological systems upon which our very civilization depends. In its timely call-to-action, published in The Lancet medical journal, the Planetary Health Alliance is calling on doctors of the world to act on planetary health, and be planetary healers. … This Earth Day, patients and doctors alike should be thinking about climate health in conjunction with their personal health. … They can advocate for healthy, low-carbon energy systems, and for the protection of urban green spaces, and can encourage patients to benefit from the healing effect of being in nature. By becoming planetary healers, health care providers globally stand on the frontlines of optimizing the health of not only this generation of patients — but of all those yet to come” (4/21).

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