In a communiqué, the agency described how air pollution, inadequate sanitation and extreme weather events are responsible for around one million premature deaths in the Americas.
People living in poverty in precarious housing conditions and indigenous peoples are at bigger risks from severe weather events, and are more likely to lack the capacity to mitigate environmental or health risks, PAHO Director Carissa Etienne noted.
Besides increasing disease prevalence and causing injuries and deaths, the source added, weather events can also affect health due to food and water insecurity, migration and mental health impacts.
Make no mistake about it, climate change can derail the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health, Etienne emphasized.
She advocated for the design of initiatives, policies and interventions focused on people and accessible to all, regardless of where they live.
She also called for reflection on the millions of people who have been left behind by not having access to any of the Covid-19 vaccines.
We must make extraordinary efforts to ensure that the weakest and most vulnerable are not left behind or left out of the climate change and health agenda, she remarked.