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World AIDS Day: CIASA says climate change creates breeding ground for infectious diseases

by Stephen Jakes
01 Dec 2023 at 17:42hrs | Views
The Citizens In Action Southern Africa has lamented that the climate change that has resulted in droughts and floods, disrupting agricultural production, leading to food insecurity and malnutrition coupled with limited access to clean water and sanitation, create a breeding ground for infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

The organisation made the remarks in a statement.

"As the world commemorates World AIDS Day under the theme “Let Communities Lead,” CIASA joins the global community in recognizing the ongoing struggle against HIV/AIDS and the urgent need for climate action. Climate change has emerged as a significant threat to global health, exacerbating existing health disparities and disproportionately impacting vulnerable populations, including those living with HIV/AIDS," CIASA said.

"The effects of climate change, such as extreme weather events, water scarcity, and food insecurity, can disrupt HIV treatment adherence, increase the risk of opportunistic infections, and jeopardize access to essential health services. In Zimbabwe, the impacts of climate change are already being felt, particularly in rural communities like the Southern Region. Droughts and floods have disrupted agricultural production, leading to food insecurity and malnutrition."

It noted that these conditions, coupled with limited access to clean water and sanitation, create a breeding ground for infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

"In addition to the direct impacts of climate change on HIV/AIDS, climate-related stressors can also increase vulnerability to HIV infection. For example, displacement due to climate-related disasters can disrupt social networks and increase engagement in risky behaviors," it said.

"As we commemorate World AIDS Day, we call for urgent action to address the intersection of climate change and HIV/AIDS.We urge governments, international organizations, and civil society to Integrate HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment into climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, strengthen health systems to be resilient to climate change impacts and empower communities to build climate resilience and reduce HIV/AIDS vulnerability."

"Together, we can create a world where everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy and productive life, free from the threat of HIV/AIDS and climate change."

Source - Byo24News