South Africa | GGHH Member Discusses the Need for Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change
Professor Bob Mash, Sustainability Coordinator from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of Stellenbosch University, a GGHH Member in South Africa, discussed the risks that climate change poses on health. While recognizing the importance of the GGHH network as a leader in advocating for low carbon health care, Prof. Mash also discusses the leadership role the health sector can adopt to mitigates its effects.
In his editorial, Prof. Mash states that the “health sector has a big role to play. The resilience of communities can be increased by strong primary health care and public health expertise with warning systems that alert us to impending risks. Well-functioning disaster management and emergency medical services will also be important.”
Regarding GGHH, he also says that “sadly, after 20 years of global dialogue on climate change, governments and other major players seem unwilling to provide the leadership required to solve this problem. One exception is the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network. It unites nearly 500 healthcare structures and organizations on six continents that are committed to reducing their ecological footprint and promoting environmental health.”
The Western Cape Department of Health and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University are just two of the South African members part of GGHH. According to Proff, Mash “this highlights the need for a global movement of professionals concerned for the health of both the planet and its 7 billion people – before it is too late.”