Materia Medica Malaysiana

June 22, 2007

Expect More Health Problems From Global Warming

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 8:43 am

PUTRAJAYA, June 21 (Bernama) — Malaysians be warned! The current trend of global warming due to the greenhouse effect and changes in the global climate caused by rapid industrialisation will result in a wide range of negative health impact, effecting the health of many Malaysians, a medical expert said.
Dr Rozlan Ishak, the Health Ministry’s Disease Control Division senior principal assistant director, said it is believed that global warming and global climatic changes would also result in the depletion of resources such as water and food, loss of territory following the rise in sea-level, changes in sanitary and hygiene situations in many populations, rise in vector and pest breeding areas, deterioration of air quality and increasing frequencies and intensities from extreme weather events.
“With such scenarios, without any appropriate mitigation measures and adaptablity programmes planned and implemented, we would expect a higher incidence of mortality and morbidity from vector borne diseases, infant and maternal mortality, cardio-respiratory related diseases in the next 50 years,” he said.
He said this in a paper at the National Seminar On Socio-economic Impact of Extreme Weather and Climate Change here Thursday.
On another note, he said in 1961, Malaysia had reported some 490,000 cases of malaria when every part of the nation was under the spell of the deadly disease.
“With proper planning, appropriate strategies and preventive work, and medical treatment, we managed to gradually reduce the incidence of malaria to the current level of 5,569 cases a year in 2006. Within 50 years, Malaria is not a problem in many parts of the country,” he added.
Similarly, he said Malaysia had improved the supply of safe and portable drinking water for both urban and rural population.
“The quality of safe and portable water had helped improve the health status of Malaysians and this translated in a huge reduction of diarrhea diseases, typhiod, cholera, dysentry, worm infestation and other food and water borne diseases.
“We also see a marked reduction of infant mortality and maternal morbidity contributed by improved water supply and personal hygiene,” Dr Rozaln added.

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