January 21, 2011
School of Medicine, Kochi
How do we improve deteriorating global environmental conditions that affect human health?
What measures can we adopt to protect our health from climate change?
Does climate change contribute significantly to the spread of vector-borne diseases?
Answers to all these questions were presented via invited lectures of two senior Amrita professors of the Department of Community Medicine at a workshop on human development paradigms with respect to the climate change perspective.
The workshop specifically discussed adaptive strategy options for Kerala.
Dr. K. Leelamoni, Professor and HoD, delivered the first lecture titled Climate Change and Future Threats to Public Health – Need for Community Health Related Adaptation.
“Definitely, climate change is a threat to community well being,” she emphasized.
Underlining the need for an interdisciplinary partnership from the local to the international levels, Dr. Leelamoni called for rapid deployment of mitigation strategies to stabilize climate change and development.
Dr. Leelamoni is the chief coordinator of the Quit Tobacco Project at Amrita. She has various publications in national and international journals to her credit.
The second lecture titled Adaptive Strategies for Vector Control in Tropics in Relation to Changing Climatic Conditions was delivered by Dr. K. N. Panicker, Professor Emeritus.
“Climatic changes are likely to lengthen the transmission season of important vector-borne diseases,” he stated.
Pointing out that malaria transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito, is strongly influenced by climate, Dr. K. N. Panicker noted that it kills almost 1 million people every year.
“Climate change could significantly affect vector borne diseases in humans,” he stated.
Before joining Amrita, Dr. Panicker was a WHO Consultant in Geneva. He has also served at the Indian Council of Medical Research as Deputy Director-General.
Dr. Panicker has extensive international experience, having been a visiting professor in medical colleges in Japan, Netherlands, Malaysia and Ethiopia.
That such prominent faculty are invited to discuss the impact of climate change on public health maybe a sign for hope, that the topic is finally getting the attention it deserves.