A regional approach to climate and health adaptation in the Middle East

Maya Negev, M Shaheen, A Hochman, H Khreis, H Levine, I Salah, P Alpert, P Georgiades, N Davidovitch, M Jaghbir

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


The Middle East (ME) is expected to be influenced by climate changes that will significantly affect human health. An increase in temperature and in the intensity, length and frequency of heat waves, alongside a decrease in precipitation, have been observed, and longer summers and shorter winters are expected. Population growth intensifies the stress on water and the ecosystem in an already sensitive region. Moreover, political conflicts intensify the vulnerability of the region's population and prevent cross-border collaboration and knowledge transfer. The aims of this talk are to: 1) present climate scenarios and potential health risks for the ME; and 2) present a regional inter-disciplinary collaboration that focuses on climate and health research.

To prioritize regional research directions, a group of climatologists and public health researchers from the ME and Europe convened in an expert workshop, which included a process of consensus-building regarding research priorities and potential collaboration.

Associated health risks are mainly increases in morbidity and mortality due to heatwaves, and increases in potentially deadly vector- water- air- and food-borne diseases such as chikungunya, yellow fever and dengue fever, due to expansion of invasive species of mosquitoes. There are wide economic and infrastructure gaps among the region's countries, entailing different levels of preparedness. Countries also face multiple intra- and inter-country political conflicts and instability which further weaken their ability to adapt at the regional level. However, climate change has regional impacts which should be understood and mitigated at that level. Research priorities include spatio-temporal research on heat and health outcomes; regional surveillance of infectious diseases; and preparedness of health systems and pathways for collaboration among health agencies in the midst of a political conflict with an emphasis on vulnerable populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)V139
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue numberSupplement_5
StatePublished - 30 Sep 2020
Event16th World Congress on Public Health 2020 Public Health for the future of humanity: analysis, advocacy and action -
Duration: 30 Sep 2020 → …


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