The planet and suffers and we with it. This is the message they wanted to send from the General Council of Official Medical Associations of Spain (Cgcom) this October 24, International Day against Climate Change. With this, doctors and experts intend to return to focus on one of the most serious and dangerous problems of today. Its consequences have been visible for years in ecosystems, as well as in the health of millions of people.
In fact, chronic, cardiac and pulmonary patients have mortality peaks with heat waves, as shown by various studies. The arrival of Covid-19 has also made the population “aware of how serious a viral disease can be,” explains Pedro Cabrera, president of the Las Palmas College of Physicians. Added to this are some diseases that have just arrived in Spain, such as the Nile fever in Andalusia, which “has claimed some lives.”
“The Medical Associations have the obligation to promote acts to raise awareness of this problem among citizens”, pointed out the doctor in the framework of this conference that aims to mobilize and raise awareness about the effects of climate change and the serious danger that it entails global warming.
A year has already passed since the General Assembly approved a declaration that emphasized precisely this joint obligation on the part of the medical profession, health institutions and administrations when proposing measures on the climate, changes in lifestyles. and awareness about the importance of the environment, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2030).
This declaration stated that “doctors, their professional organizations and the entire health sector must commit themselves to the fight against climate change and introduce new values and an ethical dimension to face the problem.” The text also requested the academic authorities to establish specific training in environmental health in educational programs.
In favor of ‘green medicines’ that generate less waste
For his part, Cabrera is in favor of implementing continuous actions “focused on professionals, society and health institutions” and with a triple axis of action. The first thing, as he explains, is to determine the “carbon footprint” of the institution itself since this will be the “unit of measurement of environmental aggression”. For this it is necessary to eliminate the consumption of plastics and bet on renewable energy. It should also be reduced among the population, for which, it recommends promoting the consumption of fresh, seasonal or local food. “The profession is not aware of how powerful medical advice can be,” she says.
He also considers it important to expose and raise awareness about the impact of climate change on human health and insists on the importance of using the ‘green medicine’, which generates little waste. The medical activity produces millions of plastic waste every day and the same happens with the contamination of aerosols and inhaled medicines, composed of
very toxic elements.
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