Symposium Climate Change, Health & Disability

RHOWI organized a symposium on climate change, health, and disability which became necessary in order to raise awareness about the challenges faced by people with disabilities in terms of social inclusion and the impact of climate change on their health. By highlighting these issues, the symposium aimed to emphasize the importance of including people with disabilities in emergency preparedness and response plans, as well as in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

One of the key points discussed during the symposium was the vulnerability of people with disabilities and more so during emergencies. Inclusion in emergency planning is crucial to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to information, resources, and support during crisis situations. Without inclusive measures, people with disabilities may face significant barriers to evacuation, communication, and accessing necessary services, which can exacerbate the negative impacts of emergencies on their well-being. The presentations went as follows :-

  1. Health Equity and Climate Change: Addressing Disparities
  2. The Role of Health Professionals in Mitigating the Effects of Climate Change.
  3. Climate Change and Disability
  4. Inclusive Climate and Health Action for Persons with and without Disabilities.
  5. Climate Change and Communicable Diseases

Moreover, the symposium addressed the intersection of climate change and disability, focusing on how climate-related factors can affect the health of individuals with disabilities. For example, extreme weather events, such as heat waves or flooding or drought, which are common in Nigeria ,can pose specific risks to people with disabilities, who may have difficulty evacuating or adapting to changing environmental conditions. Additionally, climate change can indirectly impact the availability and affordability of healthcare services and assistive technologies, further affecting the health and well-being of people with disabilities.

To address these challenges, inclusive climate change actions were emphasized during the symposium. These actions involve incorporating the perspectives and needs of people with disabilities into climate change policies, strategies, and programs. It includes ensuring accessible infrastructure, transportation, and communication systems, as well as promoting inclusive education and employment opportunities that consider the unique requirements of individuals with disabilities. By adopting an inclusive approach, society can work towards a climate-resilient future that considers and includes everybody, including people with disabilities.

Overall, the symposium on climate change, health, and disability provided a platform for raising awareness, fostering dialogue, and promoting inclusive actions to address the challenges faced by people with disabilities in the context of climate change and emergencies. It served as a reminder that inclusivity is essential for building resilience, protecting human rights, and creating a more equitable and sustainable future for all.

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