ISAMB discusses the effects of environmental change on Human Health
In a strongly multidisciplinary environment and before an audience of over 100 participants, two dozen experts discussed, for two days, the effects of environmental change on human health.
Climate action to protect human health was the theme addressed by Professor Filipe Duarte Santos, president of the National Council for Environment and Sustainable Development, at his inaugural conference, stressing that "one of the sectors most vulnerable to climate change is human health".
Organised by the ISAMB (Institute of Environmental Health) of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon, with the support of NIPPON Gases Portugal, the main goal of this conference was to promote a broad discussion about how changes in different environments - both climate as terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and social, virtual and digital environments as well as extracellular environments or epigenetics - can affect human health.
The event was attended by experts from different areas related to environmental health, and discussed the challenges related to human and environmental risk management, whether in the presence of drugs in the environment or psychological vulnerability and resilience to extreme meteorological events. New threats to global health, both in the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases and in the potentially harmful effects of seawater warming on marine ecosystems, in particular on plankton.
The following subjects were also discussed: social and demographic environments, the challenges for future generations of overpopulation, the positive and negative effects of new digital and virtual environments, or how the thermal extremes are a challenge for bioclimatic comfort. Cities and people's health were widely discussed, in particular, health inequalities and, for example, the way in which intense heat periods affect people differently, especially how these aspects should be integrated into a new concept of city governance and health planning.
Mental health, reproductive health and respiratory health were also addressed subjects, specifically, the risk of complications in the process of mourning in the wake of natural disasters, the possible impact of climate change on human fertility or the challenges in the area of respiratory diseases especially in a context of increased microbial resistance to antibiotics.
The conference included a roundtable moderated by Professor António Vaz Carneiro, Director of the ISAMB, joined by the General Director of Health, Dr. Graça Freitas, the President of the Portuguese Environment Agency, Dr. Nuno Lacasta, the Director of the Department of Meteorology and Geophysics of the Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere, Dr. Fátima Espírito Santo, and the Researcher of the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Dr. Luísa Schmidt, to discuss strategies in response to environmental change.
The closing session of the conference was preceded by the "Health & Environments" Research Incentive Individual Awards, promoted by the ISAMB and AstraZeneca, within the framework of the Digital Show of Doctorate Projects in the area of Environmental Health and equivalent.
This was one of several initiatives promoted by the ISAMB, all aligned with the emerging concept of planetary health, which will continue on 26 September, a date that marks World Environmental Health Day, and on 21 and 22 November when FMUL will hold the 1st Workshop on the impact of climate change on human health.
Professor António Vaz Carneiro, PhD
Executive Director of the ISAMB