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Dear all,

The World Universities Network (WUN) Joint 4th Public Health/Responding to
Climate Change Global Challenge Conference is taking place in Cape Town,
South Africa on 28-30 March 2014.

Are there any YPs attending this conference? Anyone in South Africa
interested in combating NCDs and ensuring a life course approach? It would
be a pleasure to be in touch and meet this weekend -

What would you like discussed and combated as pertains to 'Climate change
and public health?'


Duncan

 
Geneviève Bois
Replied at 11:47 PM, 29 Mar 2014

Sounds like a great conference Duncan, keep us posted!

Gen

Duncan Matheka
Replied at 1:44 AM, 30 Mar 2014

There have been great deliberations so far - by members of WORLDWIDE
UNIVERSITY NETWORKS on climate change and public health.

Climate change and Health

Climate change impacts environment, economies, energy, social life,
agriculture and also health. It affects health either through: (1)
Direct exposures (2) Indirect exposures (3) Social and economic
disruptions - Water, food security. This has implications for the
individual, family and community. I hereby explore how climate change
affects non-communicable diseases - especially linking with food
security, and what can be done to alleviate the problem.

Duncan Matheka
Replied at 1:45 AM, 30 Mar 2014

Food security and poverty

MDG 1 aims at eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, and in response
food security has become an increasingly important issue on global
development agenda. Role of increasing agriculture production has been
emphasized globally and regionally. In Africa, AU Abuja declaration on
food security in 2006, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
(AGRA), Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program (CAADP)
- all are aimed at solving this problem.

The urban millenium is a big challenge - with the increasing
urbanization trends. Crisis of urban food insecurity is growing in
magnitude but is being given little attention by international,
national and municipal actors. Poor urban residents obtain most food
from supermarkets and informal food economy. There is growing
dominance of big food. In urban, besides undernutrition, there are
concerns on overnutrition.

Climate change also leads to unpredictability in the rains and
temperatures, dry seasons - and this affects food security.
Poor countries like Kenya end up spending most of their income on food.

Flooding

Valerie Duminy
Replied at 8:38 AM, 30 Mar 2014

Hi Duncan. A great interest of mine is food security and the need for all members of communities to contribute, even on a small scale. With climate change and the likes of the flooding we have seen in the Eastern parts of our country here in South Africa, I believe our country soon will not be able to produce enough food for her own people.

I cannot expect of people what I myself am not prepared to do. I have started my own vegetable garden at home (in containers and a section of my property) as well as harvesting rain water and I am starting to reap the benefits of this venture. When I speak to my colleagues, from all walks of life to do likewise, their reaction is " Why do you bother when you can buy the produce?" "Are you not coming out on your salary that you grow your own?". There is no mind set of "If Val can then so can I" but "Bring me some pumpkin when it is ready".

My clients with extreme poverty and on chronic medication are keen to try even if only in a square meter garden. The interest in progress, including challenges, keeps them motivated and the small amount produced I am hoping will spur them on to having a second such garden for continuity of food supply.

Do these scenarios depict what's happening in SA? I hope not. I must not wait to see what my government will do for me but what can I do to assist myself as well as my neighbour. I believe this is the only way that we as a country will change food insecurity to food security,and food over security and obesity to food security and healthy lifestyles by being aware of what we eat by growing it ourselves and getting exercise along the way. It starts with me.

Duncan Matheka
Replied at 8:48 AM, 30 Mar 2014

Great Val,

Quite an inspiring story. We are currently in SA under Worldwide
Universities network (WUN) talking on how to overcome issues of climate
change on public health. We also had a field trip to areas prone to
flooding such as Graveyard pond in Phillipi and Sweet home.

It has been so clear to me that focusing on individuals, families and
community - as our visual hub - is the sure way to do this. Your story fits
in here quite well. Only when individuals take action, will the whole
community take action. ....we cant wait for the government.

However. I appreciate that multi-sectoral action is needed, as well as role
of partnerships with all those involved. We cant deny the role of
policy-makers, media, Civil society, etc - and using a right-based approach.

Thanks for sharing VAL.

Duncan

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