45% of deaths are linked to climate change

Madrid (EFE).- The Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI) and the Portuguese Society of Internal Medicine (SPMI) have published a consensus document in which they warn that climate, meteorology and water changes “will contribute to 45% of all deaths. ” is responsible for. Reported since 1970.”

The document, in which 32 societies, colleges and associations of internal medicine from 29 Spanish-Portuguese-speaking countries have participated, affirms that climate, meteorological and water changes represent 50% of all disasters and that people have a “strong and enduring ” Are. Direct and indirect harm to their mental health and psychosocial well-being.

The document warns about zoonoses that are on the rise and are responsible for almost a hundred percent of epidemics, water-related diseases that cause 3.4 million deaths per year and food-borne diseases, causing 420,000 deaths annually globally. Are made.

Information poster of the speed limit on the M-30 in Madrid today, following anti-pollution protocolsInformation poster of the speed limit on the M-30 in Madrid today, following anti-pollution protocols
Information poster on speed limits on the M-30 in Madrid, following protocols against air pollution. EFE/Rodrigo Jimenez

But according to the trainees’ text, there are 13 million annual deaths due to environmental factors, more than 5 million deaths due to extreme temperatures and 10 million lives lost due to the severe droughts of the last century. ,

The document states that these climate consequences particularly affect the most vulnerable populations, calling for an “indispensable responsibility” of health professionals in this emerging problem.

Nine out of ten breathe polluted air

The consensus text, which attempts to make the situation visible and outline strategies to deal with a problem they describe as urgent, also warns that nine out of ten people are Breathe air with pollution levels exceeding limits. , ,

And researchers say the increase in air pollution and allergens is increasing the development of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and allergies.

As these medical-scientific societies explain in the text, health systems must work to enhance climate resilience and environmental sustainability and they call for the participation of all health professionals in this global fight.

Furthermore, they position internal medicine as a central specialty to respond to these challenges.

An image of polluted air in the city of Barcelona.An image of polluted air in the city of Barcelona.
An image of polluted air in the city of Barcelona. EFE/Alberto Estevez

Beyond human resources to respond to the risks of climate disasters, trainees believe health systems must have emergency plans in place at all levels of care.

Hospitals must be flexible, he says, with enough hospital and intensive care beds and integrated levels of care, information systems must be strong, telemedicine must be enhanced and able to reduce patient journeys, and decisions must be “politicized.” It should be with science.”

‘One Health’ concept at the university

To prepare the document, a working group was established in July 2023 with representatives of approximately thirty internal medical committees and associations, concluding with ten recommendations for health professionals.

These include education on the ‘One Health’ concept, which should be mandatory in undergraduate and postgraduate training and presented at scientific meetings. Research in this area should be encouraged and supported, and health systems should be able to respond to unexpected events.

Furthermore, the recommendations emphasize the role of internal medicine as a central specialty for protecting the most vulnerable, exemplary behavior to protect the environment, and responding to the consequences of environmental change.

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