Climate change to cause 250,000 extra deaths per year: expert hinh anh 1Illustrative image. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Climate change will cause some 250,000 additional deaths from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat exposure per year between 2030 and 2050, warned Director of the Department of International Cooperation Tran Thi Giang Huong on October 19.

Severe weather has big impacts on healthcare, increasing communicable and non-communicable diseases, she said at a conference on climate change and its health effects in Vietnam with provincial medical partners held by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in HCM City.

Extreme high air temperatures directly contribute to deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease, particularly among elderly people, while increasing rainfall and floods are likely to heighten the risk of diarrhea and water-borne diseases, Huong added.

[More dengue fever likely as rain continues]

According to Do Manh Cuong from the MoH’s Agency of Health Environment, Vietnam has warmed by 1.7 – 2.4 degrees Celsius in recent years. The country has also seen an increase of up to 20 percent in rainfall in the northern and central regions while the south has experienced lower rainfall during the dry season, triggering widespread drought, he said.

Rising temperature and rainfall are associated with increase in diarrhea, dengue fever and hand-foot-mouth cases. The number of diarrhea infection is more likely to boom after heavy rain, severe flooding and rising water level in rivers, he noted.

The participants of the conference proposed the MoH to formulate an action plan in response to climate change with a vision to 2030 and develop a network of health clinics resilient to climate change.

They also urged the ministry to ensure clean water supply and hygiene for people and implement projects for environment cleanup and disease prevention.-VNA