Adaptation in the health sector
• Injuries, fatalities or loss of assets from cyclones or flooding with coastal and poor populations being the most at risk. Illness or loss of assets can cause major setbacks for poor households and tip near poor households into poverty as these households lack the resources or safety nets to re-establish their livelihoods and recover following major economic or social shocks.
• Illnesses caused by exposure to polluted water following flooding which can facilitate entry of pathogens from human waste, animal waste or landfill sites into the water supply, or resulting from damage to water supply infrastructure.
• Malnutrition linked to food insecurity resulting from crop failure or reduced yields during droughts, flooding or changes in agriculture climatic cycles.
• Mental health diseases resulting from stress caused by loss of assets, injuries, illness, fatalities or climate induced migration.
• Health impacts of climate migration including increase in the incidence of transmissible diseases as migration between populations occurs, and increase in social conflict as access to resources (e.g. water, food, housing) becomes more competitive.
Increased access to health care for vulnerable populations through development and staffing of new health care facilities or improvements in means of physical access to existing facilities.
Development or expansion of infectious disease control programs to respond to new health risks. For example, increase in access to anti-malarial drugs and mosquito nets n newly affected regions.
Improved disease monitoring and early warning systems to allow early response to disease outbreaks. Contingency plans for disease outbreaks should also be developed.
Climate proofing of health facilities and appropriate planning of new infrastructure to protect existing facilities against flooding or storm damage and to ensure new facilities are not built in high-risk areas.
Improved access to safe water and sanitation through development of new infrastructure or protection of water quality to increase overall resilience of populations to health risks.
Implementation of ecosystem based or structural protective measures to protect coastal communities from extreme climate events.
Improved disaster preparedness, warning and response mechanisms to allow early warning and effective response to natural disasters.
Implementation of adaptation measures to enhance food security for vulnerable populations. Examples include agricultural extension services and training, dissemination drought and salt resistant crops and development of alternative livelihood strategies.
National planning for climate migration to minimize social disruption and conflict and facilitate equitable access to resources and services.