Climate change and human health

WHO, WMO, World Bank support international symposium on urban health and meteorology

12 - 15 April 2011, Shanghai, China

The symposium shared international experience in using meteorological information for public health, to inform the Shanghai Health Meteorology Service Programme. This 10-year programme will deliver operational demonstration projects to improve protection from a range of weather-related health risks in urban environments; research activities aimed at improving the understanding of human health, weather and climate; and international outreach and capacity building to facilitate the exchange of best practice within China, and globally. The symposium was hosted by the Vice Mayor of Shanghai, and included presentations by representatives of the health and climate communities at municipal and national level, and from the international steering committee, including the World Health Organization (WHO), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), World Bank, The Health and Climate Foundation, New York City Department of Health, University of Auckland, and the Queensland University of Technology. Key themes highlighted in the symposium included the need for intersectoral partnerships that respond to public health needs; operational evaluation to assess success in terms of lives and resources saved; and the importance of embedding the system within the wider context of public health priority setting and surveillance systems, and within a vision of healthy, intelligent and sustainable cities.