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Capacity Development and Adaptation to Climate Change on Human Health Vulnerability, Ghana

Submitted by Michael Rastall 11th October 2012 15:02

Source: DFID

Summary

The global environmental challenges related to climate change, including combating climate-sensitive diseases, are closely interlinked through complex socio-economic livelihood processes. Ghana's principal development challenge of accelerating economic growth to alleviate poverty necessitates a healthy working population. With this goal in mind, this project seeks to develop capacity to implement pre-disaster prevention and adaptation options in order to reduce the potential adverse effects of climate change on human health in Ghana.

The focus of the project is to formulate, develop and implement sustainable systems that will reduce the burden of climate-related diseases, promote community capacity development, educate the community on preventative measures, and build the capacity of health practitioners in early detection and treatments. Through this research the project will identify current stresses and risks, as well as elucidate the future impacts on the most vulnerable populations, particularly women and children. Adaptation policies and measures to reduce disease burden, including procedures for capacity building and implementation, will be identified. This will include the promotion of pre-disaster planning as a basic component of adaptation to cope with, and respond to, climate change and variability in relation to human health.

Through this proposed project pragmatic adaptation strategies for human health vulnerabilities will not only achieve synergies and coordination within the public health sector, but they will also establish synergies amongst other government policies and facilitate the mainstreaming of environmental management into sustainable development.

Adaptation Options

Some of the adaptation options identified include: cultivate crops on uplands, off-season vegetables along rivers, maize during the minor season, vegetables right after floods. Also communities were encouraged to plant early in the season, store food for emergencies, create channels or gutters to improve drainage in farms and houses, and build homes on high lands and block/brick houses with concrete foundation