Health care specialist, Peter Omoragbon, has warned that Nigeria may begin to record more cases of malnutrition due to reduced food production arising from extreme climate events such as floods, droughts and wild fires unless adequate measures are taken to address the threats of climate change.
Mr. Omoragbon who is The President Nurses Across the Borders, made the statement at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) during a training workshop on climate change mitigation, organized by the association, in collaboration with National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANHM), LUTH branch, and Sea Trust Institute, USA.
According to him, weather related disasters have become more frequent in the past four decades and this is affecting the nation’s health and ecosystems.
“This has led to malnutrition due to reduced food production, spread of infectious diseases, and various water borne disease like cholera, thyphoid fever, enteric fever. It has also led to increase of malaria, a child killer disease which is transmitted through mosquito bites. Mosquitoes thrive on stagnant water and with poor drainage system in the country, the prevalence of malaria is on the increase in the country”, he said.
Explaining the importance of the workshop, Omoragbon said the purpose was to enable health workers to prepare for, and effectively respond to impact of climate change on human health. “It will also facilitate the implementation of essential public health intervention for the management of both acute and long term health risk resulting from climate change”, he added.
In her address, Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), LUTH branch, Mrs Oluyemisi Adelaja, emphasized the role of nurses and health workers in mitigating the effect of climate change.
Because climate change can affect people’s lives negatively and inflict pain on them, Adelaja said there was a need for health workers to be better prepared on how to deal with the psychological and emotional effects.
“With this training, the participants will be able to know what they can do to assist the society in mitigating the challenges posed by the global threat. With the involvement of health care providers, the capacity to successfully combat the global threat will be strengthened”, she added.