The Ministry of Health has said that the government is very much preoccupied with seeking a lasting solution to the effects of climate change on public health.
Health experts told journalists on Tuesday that creating public awareness and information exchange on the causes of climate change is highly prioritised.
The ministry considers the establishment of a National Environmental Health Strategic Plan on protecting people’s health from climate change related hazards.
“Failure to do that, the said climate change effects on health are likely to become more frequent and intensive” said, Joseph Katabarwa, the official in charge of Environmental Health at the Ministry of Health.
Katabarwa was representing the Health Minister, Dr. Jean Damascène Ntawukuriryayo, at a press conference held at Treatment and Research Aids Centre (TRAC) head office.
He said they intended to keep a close eye and respond quickly to any outbreak of infectious disease. They will also monitor climate change patterns and keep records.
The official pointed out that extreme climate change outcomes like the heavy rains cause loss of lives due to floods and land slides.
He singled out the last year’s floods in Nyabihu District, Western Province, which killed fifteen people and left at least five hundred families homeless.
The conference was aimed at unveiling the government’s response to the recent World Health Organisation (WHO) global appeal for protecting public health from climate change.