In effort to address the crucial connection between climate change and public health, the Botswana Harvard Health Partnership(BHP) and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Gaborone co-hosted the Climate Change and Pandemic Preparedness conference...
In effort to address the crucial connection between climate change and public health, the Botswana Harvard Health Partnership(BHP) and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Gaborone co-hosted the Climate Change and Pandemic Preparedness conference. As the global community recognizes climate change as a significant contributing factor to the emergence and spread of pathogens, this conference brought together experts, policymakers, and stakeholders to foster cross-cutting research and coordinated action.
This conference was funded by the German Embassy in Gaborone and it was inspired by the German Africa Award for 2022 which was awarded to BHPs Director Prof. Sikhuklile Moyo and the CERI Director Prof. Tulio de Oliveira from South Africa for the discovery and their research on the Omicron variant of the SARS-C0V-2, COVID-19 virus. CERI is a proud member of the CLIMADE (Climate Amplified Diseases and Epidemics) initiative, spearheaded by a consortium of renowned global scientists, attended this event, sharing their expertise and insights to tackle the ever-evolving challenges at the intersection of climate change, health, and pandemic preparedness.
Dr. Monika Moir, Postdoctoral fellow at CERI contributed to the conference by shedding light on the CLIMADE initiative, explaining the vital role it plays in understanding climate-sensitive diseases and genomic surveillance. Her presentation ignited discussions that led to promising collaborations in the climate change and pandemic preparedness domain. Dr. Monika Moir remarked, "It is truly a significant symposium which identified research topics and projects specific to Botswana and the Southern African region that should be prioritized to address the issues of the changing climate on health and explore funding opportunities."
Among the esteemed participants were notable figures, including German Ambassador Margit Hellwig-Boette, Prof. Sikhulile Moyo, and Dr. Joseph Makhema of the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Prof. Oathokwa Nkomazana from the Ministry of Health, and Prof. Till Bärnighausen from Heidelberg University. Their involvement underscored the necessity of a collective effort in addressing the intricate relationship between climate change, health, and pandemic preparedness.
The Botswana conference has set the stage for innovative research and collaborative action in the realm of climate change and its effects on public health. CLIMADE, with its commitment to advancing knowledge and interventions, continues to collaborate and engage. As climate change's impact on health becomes increasingly evident, the collaboration among global scientists, policymakers, and experts is more important than ever to secure a healthier, sustainable future.
News date: 2023-11-07
KRISP has been created by the coordinated effort of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the South African Medical Research Countil (SAMRC).