A two-day consultation for the National Health Adaption Plan was held at the Bay Gardens Hotel on Oct. 5, with the aim of strengthening climate resilient health systems in the Caribbean. According to the World Health Organization, the effects of climate change can be felt through our water, food supply, and shelter.
Health Planner within the Ministry of Health, Ms. Tamara Lionel said the attendees who were representatives of various collaborating agencies, came together to establish two main goals.
“The purpose of the workshop is twofold. We have a discussion on the priorities set out in the National Health Adaptation Plan and we obtain stakeholder input for the completion of the draft concept note. The aim of the concept note is to improve the climate resilience and resource efficiency of public and private health facilities while enhancing the country’s ability to respond to the broad health threats posed by climate change.”
The European Union says health has not been a foremost topic on the agenda of the climate change conversation. EU Climate Programme Manager, Ms. Donna Gittens, stated that a multi-dimensional approach was being promoted to ensure that all key partners play a role in the development of health and climate policies.
“We recognize that health has not been prominently featured in the NDC’s. It is often implicitly captured under the broader targets for adaptation with limited clearly stated targets within the larger climate policy framework. H-CNAPS Development is therefore the first key step in its integration into the climate policy architecture. It is a tool to provide the much-needed room for the discussion between the much-needed sectors, recognizing the cross-cutting nature of each,” she said.
PAHO Sub-Regional Program Director, Dean Chambliss pointed out that the organization must gain a better understanding of the impact of Climate Change on Health, to appropriately address the situation.
Chambliss said PAHO is providing support to various countries in developing health chapters within their National Adaptation Plans, or H-CNAPS.
“We are currently supporting 10 countries, one of which is Saint Lucia. Coincidentally the Helen of the West Indies is the first country to have completed the HCNAPS. Congratulations to the country team and to the consultants who have worked so hard to achieve this. National adaptions planning helps countries to assess their specific climate risks including projected changes in temperature, precipitation, sea levels and extreme weather events.”
The complete concept note will be forwarded to the Green Climate Fund for funding consideration, through the Ministry of Economic Development.
The workshop was held under the theme “Creating a Low-Carbon and more Resilient Health Sector in Saint Lucia.”