New UN manual explores 'climate-sensitive diseases'
Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization speaks during a luncheon in Gatineau, Que., Monday November 21, 2011. (Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press)
Published Monday, October 29, 2012 8:09AM EDT
GENEVA -- The two UN agencies for health and weather services have created a new "atlas" of scientific data that they say offers fresh evidence of the links between climate change to outbreaks of meningitis, malaria and other diseases.
The World Health Organization director-general says the manual, which includes maps, tables and graphs, provides a practical guide to "climate-sensitive diseases" that decision-makers and leaders can use as a tool for prevention.
Dr. Margaret Chan told reporters Monday in Geneva that 80 per cent of the infectious diseases currently found in humans have come from animals -- and the scientific research for managing disease in ecosystems has been "underutilized."
World Meteorological Association Secretary-General Michel Jarraud says the atlas is meant to spread information buried in the agencies' technical documents.