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Medical Journal News

Great Britain risks losing one in six wildlife species

BMJ - British Medical Journal - 49 min 43 sec ago
bmj;383/oct03_6/p2270/FAF1faDave Hunt/AlamyThe UK is now one of the most nature depleted countries on Earth. That is the conclusion of a major report on the state of the country’s ecosystem.Like most other countries, the UK has experienced a significant loss of biodiversity in the past 50 years, but with one in six species in Great Britain deemed at risk of extinction (assessed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable) it is particularly hard hit, says the State of Nature 2023 report ( The distribution of the brown hare (pictured) in Great Britain fell by 15% between 1970 and 2015.Most of the important habitats for nature are in poor condition, but, more optimistically, the report says that it is not too late and that “restoration projects can and do have clear benefits for nature and people, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation.”State...
Categories: Medical Journal News

Health as loss and damage under a changing climate

BMJ - British Medical Journal - 54 min 29 sec ago
This year has seen wildfires, flash flooding, and the warmest month on record,1 a likely “new normal” as the consequences of climate change—primarily driven by burning fossil fuels for energy—unfold. Both extreme weather events—such as heatwaves and cyclones, and slowly unfolding crises—such as desertification and food insecurity, pose well described threats to our health and wellbeing.2 As such, this year’s UN annual climate conference (COP28, running from 30 November to 12 December 2023), will have an unprecedented focus on health in recognition that ill health is a key downstream consequence of inadequate climate policy, and that putting health at the centre of decision making can help drive decisive climate action.3Loss and damage caused by climate change will also be a central topic at COP28, after countries agreed in 2022 to create a fund that aims to respond to the worst climate impacts disproportionately affecting vulnerable developing countries.4 Loss and damage...
Categories: Medical Journal News

The UK should invest more in sexual and reproductive health globally, not less

BMJ - British Medical Journal - 55 min 13 sec ago
Aid from the UK has contributed to meaningful progress towards ensuring women and girls globally can access their sexual and reproductive health and rights.1 Supporting the reproductive and sexual health of women and girls remains essential to the UK’s international development objectives.2 The UK government’s international women and girls strategy recognises sexual and reproductive health and rights as a key priority for working towards gender equality3 and allowing women and girls to pursue education and employment, and participate more fully in social and political life. If the UK government is serious about achieving their aims, it is essential that this commitment is matched with dedicated and sufficient long term funding.As described in the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ new report,4 the decision to cut overseas development assistance from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5% in 2020 has had devastating consequences for global sexual and reproductive health services and...
Categories: Medical Journal News

One Health and climate change—we need to get the ethics right

BMJ - British Medical Journal - 59 min 44 sec ago
It is incontrovertible that climate change and associated environmental degradation present serious threats to public health. Extreme heat, antimicrobial resistance, the zoonotic transfer of pathogens, shifting disease vectors, food and water instability, and desertification—all are exacerbated by the climate emergency, all with serious implications for global public health. Take just one of these threats—the likely impact of the climate emergency on emerging infectious diseases. A 2022 paper in Nature Climate Change1 found that 58% (218 out of 375) of infectious diseases pathogenic in human beings have been aggravated by “climatic hazards” linked to global greenhouse gas emissions. By comparison, only 16% of diseases were “at times diminished” by the climate emergency.In response, many health professionals and policy makers are looking with increasing interest at a “One Health” approach to combating the health impacts of the climate emergency. Defined by the World Health Organization as a “joint effort of various disciplines...
Categories: Medical Journal News

Role model: Min-Nang Lin

BMJ - British Medical Journal - 1 hour 4 min ago
Online title: Green healthcare: the family physician Healthcare workers have a key part to play in increasing awareness of climate matters, Min-Nang Lin believes.“Research around the world has shown that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers are perceived to be among the most trustworthy professionals,” he says. “So, we have an important role in raising awareness among the general population about environmental problems, sustainability, and the dangers of climate change.”Lin is a family physician with an interest in public health. “After I passed the board examination of the Taiwan Association of Family Medicine, I worked in a rural area in Taiwan and I knew that I needed more knowledge of public health to learn how to prevent diseases, so I took a masters degree in public health,” he explains. “One ounce of prevention is better than one pound of treatment. The cessation of smoking, exercise, and a plant based diet...
Categories: Medical Journal News

Planetary care is as vital as healthcare

BMJ - British Medical Journal - 1 hour 10 min ago
How did we arrive at the position where we devote so many resources to healthcare and yet have totally dropped the ball on caring for our planet? If the planet were a person she would be assessed as being dangerously, even fatally, ill. Her vital signs are not good.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)1 has produced six reports based on the work of multiple scientists around the world. The reports found that the health of the planet is declining faster than the reports can keep up with, and that the planet is sicker than the latest report indicated. So the panel has produced more timely indicators on the state of our sick planet.2 It shows that the annual total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and concentrations of the three main GHGs in the atmosphere have increased, and the global mean surface temperatures across the whole world and over land have...
Categories: Medical Journal News
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