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Reuters Examines Health Effects Of Climate Change in Africa

Reuters examines how floods, droughts and rising temperatures, thought to be caused by climate change, are compromising African farm lands and leading to health problems for already vulnerable populations – a topic discussed at the “first pan-African climate hearings.”

According to the news service, poor crop yields have led women, who once harvested the fields, to turn to prostitution in order to fight poverty and hunger, increasing their risk of HIV/AIDS. “Besides AIDS, which has already killed more than 800,000 people in Malawi since 1985 and left more than one million orphans, experts fear an increase in diseases such as malaria and cholera should temperatures rise,” Reuters writes.

The stories from the preliminary climate hearings will be presented later this year during climate talks in Copenhagen, “where Western countries and poorer nations are expected to adopt new carbon emission targets to curb global warming,” the news service writes. “Africa, the world’s poorest continent mainly dependent on subsistence agriculture, is expected to bear the brunt of unpredictable weather patterns that could ruin crops, entrenching poverty and malnourishment” (Roelf, 10/5).