There are many studies on the effects of climate change on human health. There are very few of these that focus only on children. One such study has happened in Banaras, Uttar Pradesh, India. Researchers from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) have found in this study that climate change is making children vulnerable to infectious diseases. This research underscores the need for more comprehensive environmental studies on children. The results of this study are believed to be in line with the concerns expressed in this year’s report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Relationship between children and diseases
This study has found that climate factors account for 9 to 18 percent of total infectious disease cases in children. According to the India Today report, this study examined the relationship between infectious diseases and climate factors in children under 16 years of age in Varanasi city.
Burden on children
Over the years, many efforts have been made to improve the public health sector in the country. Climate change due to human activities can become a challenge to the benefits being received in this region. At the same time, the assessment done at the global level has shown that due to climate change, the most burden of diseases falls on children, in which the poor have the most impact.
Big role of temperature
In this study, published in the journal Science Direct, researchers have concluded that maximum temperature and humidity are the main factors for spreading infection in children. They found that a one-degree increase in maximum temperature increased the incidence of child-related cholera and skin diseases by 3.97 and 3.94 percent, respectively.
Disease and climate factors
In this study, 461 children of Varanasi below the age of 16 were included. The study, led by RK Mal, included Nidhi Singh, T Banerjee, and Akhilesh Gupta. The factors included in this study included climatic factors such as temperature, humidity, rainfall, solar radiation, and wind speed related to infectious diseases such as abdominal gas-related diseases, respiratory diseases, vector was borne, and skin diseases in children Banaras.
How many roles?
The study also found that climate factors account for 9-18 percent of infectious disease cases. Whereas non-climatic factors contribute to the rest. India’s Ministry of Science and Technology said that upper respiratory tract infections account for most of the cold and flu, and gastrointestinal disorders account for 78 percent of the disease burden.
Need to set priorities
The statement said that socioeconomic conditions and child anthropometry have changed the relationship between climate and disease, with more children falling prey to conditions such as being underweight. The ministry says that this study draws attention to the government and policymakers that they should prioritize effective measures for child health because the current climate-disease combination may increase the burden in the future. In this, the malnourished children of India may suffer the most.
The study comes at a time when this year’s report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that the Earth will warm by 1.5 degrees Celsius within two decades. Due to this, hot airwaves, long summer seasons, and short cold seasons will be seen.