Focuses on Connection Between Climate Change and Health
Washington, D.C., April 7, 2008 – Today marks the beginning of the 2008 National Public Health Week (NPHW), themed Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance. The launch of the week coincides with today’s observance of World Health Day, which also focuses on the health impacts of climate change.
NPHW, which runs April 7-13, aims to raise awareness of the direct connection between climate change and human health. The week is coordinated by the American Public Health Association and supported by the work of more than 50,000 members of APHA and its Affiliates, as well as numerous partner organizations.
“Although people are becoming more informed about the impact of humans on the planet, far fewer have an understanding of the health impacts that are already likely to come from climate change,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “National Public Health Week is about getting the public health community involved in the climate change discussion and raising awareness about the small changes we can each make in our lives that can have a big impact on the planet and on our health.”
NPHW events are occurring in communities around the nation. At the national level, APHA is working to support the bipartisan resolution introduced in the House of Representatives that recognizes the connection between the changes in the world’s climate and health concerns like disease, air pollution, water supplies and quality, and other significant health effects. Additionally, hearings on the connection between climate change and health are being held this week in both the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
In conjunction with NPHW, APHA has released a blueprint of recommendations for the public health community. The blueprint was developed through a collaborative process involving health and climate change experts from around the country. APHA has also released recommendations for the general public in the form of a Healthy Climate Pledge, which asks individuals to adopt five behaviors throughout the week that can benefit the planet.
For over a decade, the American Public Health Association has organized National Public Health Week to educate the public, policy-makers and the public health community about critical public health challenges the nation is facing. Learn more about this year’s NPHW and the connection between our health and the health of the planet by visiting www.nphw.org.