How Climate Change Can Affect Health—and What We Can Do About It – Pfizer

by | Oct 19, 2022 | Climate Change

It took a split second, recalls Louise Proud. Something in the air triggered an asthma attack in her 18-month-old daughter. The baby’s lips turned blue as Proud rushed her to the hospital in a panic.Thankfully, the healthcare team helped the child breathe normally, and she was back to herself quickly. But Proud’s sense of safety and stability didn’t snap back so readily. For her, it was a moment of realization about how the environment and health are intimately linked.Proud, who is Vice President, Global Environment, Health & Safety at Pfizer, thinks about the planet’s health every day because of her work. And yet, even for her, it took a personal encounter to see how the interplay between the environment and personal health had the potential to flip her family’s world upside down. That’s a reality more people may have to grapple with as climate change intensifies. The World Health Organization estimates that between 2030 and 2050, climate change will cause nearly 250,000 additional deaths per year, because of health conditions such as malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress.1 In fact, WHO has gone so far as to call climate change “the single biggest health threat facing humanity.”1Pol Vandenbroucke, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer’s Hospital Unit, says it’s impossible to ignore the ways the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat impact the ways our bodies feel and function. “The relationship between climate chan …

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