Climate

Climate change is the greatest threat to global health, and disproportionately impacts the health and well-being of vulnerable communities. Strong, integrated community health programs are an essential tool to help vulnerable communities adapt to the health impacts of a changing climate.

More than three billion people are “highly vulnerable to effects of climate change” – primarily in low- and middle-income countries that have contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions. In Africa, floods have increased tenfold, severe storms have quadrupled, and droughts have tripled since the 1970s – twice as fast as for the rest of the world.

For rural and remote communities, the impact of these extreme weather events is especially acute. Drought exacerbates malnutrition crises. Flooding and extreme temperatures lead to a greater burden of diseases like cholera and malaria and can make travel to clinics for routine care like prenatal check-ups and child immunizations nearly impossible.

A person walking through a forest

Our Approach

Strong, integrated community health programs are an essential tool to help vulnerable communities adapt to the health impacts of a changing climate.

At Last Mile Health, we work with governments to equip professional community health workers to serve the world’s most remote communities. We’ve seen firsthand the difference this makes against threats like malaria, Ebola, and COVID-19. And we are seeing the difference it makes in communities experiencing drought, flooding, and weather-driven disease outbreaks like cholera.

village in Malawi
Child having arm measured.

Community health workers are addressing the health impacts of a changing climate by:

  • Maintaining access to routine care during extreme weather events
  • Serving as the first line of response for diseases like malaria and dengue fever that are increasing as a result climate change
  • Providing a trusted bridge to the health system for rural and remote communities

Alongside investments in climate mitigation, investments in solutions that support climate adaptation are essential. Professional community health workers address the health impacts of a changing climate and supporting climate adaptation in vulnerable communities around the world.

Resources

Read More on Last Mile Health’s Blog

Blog Post

“Change starts from the ground”: A profile of community health worker John Wabwire

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Blog Post

Strengthening health systems in the face of climate change: A conversation with health leaders from Last Mile Health, Malawi Ministry of Health, and Seed Global Health

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Blog Post

On the front lines of Malawi’s cyclone and cholera response: Five questions with community health workers

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