Gov’t lays out public health adaptation policies

2024.04.05 08:49:01 | 2024.04.05 08:51:43

[Photo by MK DB]이미지 확대

[Photo by MK DB]

The South Korean government unveiled a medium- to long-term plan to pursue effective public health adaptation policies for climate change which forecasts say could increase the risks of future diseases. As temperatures rise due to climate change, there will be an increased risk of heat-related illnesses and cardiovascular diseases, while the worsening air and water quality could lead to various allergies and waterborne infectious diseases.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) announced on Thursday that it established a “Medium- to Long-Term Climate Health Plan (2024-2028)” to efficiently monitor diseases and respond to climate change.

The plan consists of four parts: strengthening climate and disease alert functions, enhancing climate crisis preparedness and response systems, strengthening public-private cooperation and global networking for climate crisis response, and building scientific infrastructure for public health adaptation for climate change.

The agency plans to preemptively prepare for the risks of heat and cold-related illnesses by integrating emergency room surveillance data on those illnesses with meteorological data to identify outbreak risks and strengthen health alert functions.

It also aims to develop investigation tools and systems to identify the health impacts of abnormal weather events, such as wildfires, heavy rain, and typhoons, to lay the foundation for a monitoring system based on scientific evidence.

The agency will also establish a regional cooperation system centered around regional response centers to support regional climate and health adaptation measures. The plan includes ongoing collaboration with relevant agencies, academia, and civilian experts to identify and address issues and challenges in various climate and health areas.

By Kim Jee-hee and Yoon Yeon-hae

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