caption Credit: Photo by Marlon del Aguila Guerrero/CIFOR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Climate Resilient and Sustainable Health Systems

The Climate Resilient and Sustainable Health Systems TWG will bring together experts in health systems, preparedness, climate change mitigation/ adaptation, and the affected communities to promote policy-relevant action-orientated research and practice. This will support the development and implementation of evidence-based strategies that strengthen climate resilience within health systems.

“The risks associated with climate-related disasters do not represent a scenario of some distant future. They are already a reality for millions, and they are not going away” (UN political affairs chief DiCarlo). Health systems are at the forefront of climate response and are themselves vulnerable to climate hazards, through damage, destruction and/or disruption of critical infrastructure (water, energy, IT) which limits their ability to promote and protect the health of populations they serve.

Over 25% of global health care facilities already lack basic water services. The health sector is also part of the problem though and accounts for around 4.6% of global emissions. We have an unparalleled opportunity to demonstrate health sector leadership on emission reduction and contribute to national and global climate targets in line with the Paris Agreement to limit warming to 1.5oC.

COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for strengthening the ability of healthcare systems to anticipate, prevent, detect, respond, and recover from overlapping risks (e.g. climate change) in a sustainable way. As countries recover and realign policies, programs, and plans, we as health professionals have the responsibility to advocate for an inclusive, green, healthy more resilient future that enables populations to thrive.

Objectives

  • Establish and strengthen a dynamic community of diverse stakeholders (funders, public health researchers/educators/practitioners, decision-makers, NGOs, etc.) with an interest in generating, sharing, and applying knowledge to understand the vulnerability of and support climate resilience and sustainability within national and local healthcare systems
  • Develop and drive a global research and capacity strengthening agenda around health systems strengthening and climate change impacts.
  • Provide structured opportunities for HSG members and external participants for knowledge exchange and peer-to-peer support for conducting climate vulnerability and adaptation assessments (V&As) at population level and/or health care facility levels
  • Promote evidence-informed practice through case studies for scaling up climate adaptation action within health systems
  • Engage relevant health policy, research, and healthcare professionals to advocate health sector leadership for climate action within health systems at global, national, and local levels.

Activities of the TWG will be structured around six components (2021-25):

  • National and local vulnerability/adaptation assessment
  • Integrated risk monitoring · Sustainable health infrastructure
  • Health workforce leadership
  • Climate-informed health programmes
  • Emergency preparedness (early warning for extreme weather)

These activities will be delivered through seminars, webinars, high-level panel discussions, and policy round tables. In support of capability strengthening and knowledge mobilisation, we aim to collate a repository of climate adaptation case studies within health systems globally.

Facilitators

Revati Phalkey

Revati Phalkey

Chair

Susannah Mayhew

Susannah Mayhew

Vice Chair

Renzo Guinto

Renzo Guinto

Vice Chair

Revocatus Twinomuhangi

Revocatus Twinomuhangi

Vice Chair

Uposona Ghosh

Uposona Ghosh

Coordinator

Shibaji Bose

Shibaji Bose

Communications Lead

Revati Phalkey

Revati Phalkey

Chair

Revati is Honorary Associate Professor for Global Health at the Heidelberg University, Germany, and brings over 12 years of experience in delivering interdisciplinary, multi-partner research/capacity strengthening projects in Europe, South/Central Asia, and West Africa. Her main interests lie at the intersection of climate impacts and the challenge of operationalising resilience within health systems. As Head, Climate Change and Health Unit at Public Health England, UK she leads the 4th national climate-health risk assessment and is the focal point for the National Adaptation Programme. She is contributing author IPCC AR6; lead chapter author UNFCCC Adaptation Gap Report and leads PHE's input to the COP26 Health Programme.

Susannah Mayhew

Susannah Mayhew

Vice Chair

Susannah is a Professor of Health Policy and Systems at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She teaches widely on health policies and systems, reproductive health, population, and climate. Her research specialisations are policy analysis; policy implementation; governance and accountability particularly participatory community approaches; health systems and systems integration research (including in epidemic-response); and reproductive health and rights. She has led multi-partner research projects across sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Currently, she works primarily in West and East Africa developing research on cross-sectoral responses to climate and health challenges, including zoonotic outbreaks, with a focus on community-led approaches.

Renzo Guinto

Renzo Guinto

Vice Chair

Renzo Guinto, MD DrPH is Associate Professor of Global Public Health and Inaugural Director of the Planetary and Global Health Program of the St. Luke’s Medical Center, Philippines. He is Chief Planetary Doctor of PH Lab – a “glo-cal think-and-do tank” for advancing the health of both people and the planet. An Obama Asia-Pacific Leader and Aspen New Voices Fellow, Renzo is a member of the Lancet–Chatham House Commission on Improving Population Health post-COVID-19; Lancet One Health Commission; Advisory Board of Climate Cares (Imperial); and Editorial Advisory Board of The Lancet Planetary Health. He has served as a consultant for WHO, World Bank, and Health Care Without Harm amongst other organisations.

Revocatus Twinomuhangi

Revocatus Twinomuhangi

Vice Chair

Revocatus Twinomuhangi holds a Ph.D. in Environment Management and is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography, Geo-informatics and Climatic Sciences, Makerere University (Uganda), and Coordinator of the Makerere University Centre for Climate Change Research and Innovations (MUCCRI). His main areas of teaching and research are: spatial analysis, environmental geography, and climate change, and has up 20 years of working experience. He has worked on various national and global climate change programmes including being Senior Strategic Advisor for the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and Climate Change Advisor to the UK-funded Cities and Infrastructure for Growth (CIG) Programme in Uganda. He is also a founder member of the Least Developed Countries Consortium on Climate Change (LUCCC) and manages the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Uganda national network hosted at Makerere University.

Uposona Ghosh

Uposona Ghosh

Coordinator

Senior Lecturer at the Public Health Foundation of India. 10+ years experience in socially determined pathways of climate change impacts on community health and health care. Her work explores social vulnerabilities of climate-affected communities and the political-economic dynamics of transformational changes towards a climate-resilient health system. Upasona received the Young Researchers Award from DFID in 2013 and was an Emerging Voices for Global Health, 2014. She has implemented various participatory action research techniques like photo voice, digital diaries, community vulnerability assessment with climatically vulnerable communities of marginal environments. Her research further explored the climate-health nexus of health inequalities and political-ecology of climatically vulnerable regions to unearth health system challenges. Her current research interest is to focus on the social vulnerabilities of the communities in order to throw light on the political-economic dynamics impacting transformational changes towards resilient health systems. Her aim is to build up community-based practical knowledge towards a sustainable pathway of change in the health policy process for climatically vulnerable and disadvantageous populations.

Shibaji Bose

Shibaji Bose

Communications Lead

Shibaji Bose is a health systems research to policy advocate whose work draws on participatory action research in remote and challenging geographies. A former journalist, he is working for last 2 decades on linkages between climate change, health systems knowledge interventions, communications to assist research uptake and policy making. Alongside his interests in mediating between dominant and implicit narrative spaces, he has co-curated photo voice exhibitions, directed films, and his works have featured in Wellcome Trust, Cannes Film Festival and HSG symposiums. He has contributed articles to The Lancet, BMC Health Services Research, BMJ Global Health and news media.