International Federation of Medical Students' Associations
The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations expresses its support for the draft comprehensive global strategy on health, environment and climate change. As future health professionals, we recognise the direct effects of human activity on climate change and the urgent threat climate change poses to global health.
Firstly, framing climate change issues through health impacts can increase political and public support and should be used more by health professionals and policy-makers. We call upon governments to comprehensively integrate health and health systems into national plans and policies on climate change and national disaster risk reduction frameworks.
Secondly, IFMSA is working with universities to integrate climate change into the curricula for healthcare students worldwide and we also call for serious commitments from the health sector to work in this space. More resources for research and activities should be allocated based on the emerging scientific evidence on the health impacts of climate change. Healthcare professionals must be the link between the scientific evidence of the health impacts of climate change and societal awareness. A transformative healthcare education inclusive of Environmental Determinants of Health would give future healthcare professionals the skills to also encourage community action against climate change.
Thirdly, we call upon the WHO to undertake an analysis of national policies and adaptation strategies in order to assess health gains for countries and to monitor the contribution of countries’ actions to the Sustainable Development Goals on climate change and health.
Lastly, we call upon the WHO to walk the talk and show leadership in ensuring their meetings and events are environmentally sustainable regarding provided food, used materials and waste management. We look forward to seeing positive, sustainable changes at the World Health Assembly in a few months.