The Lancet Countdown South America: increasing health opportunities by identifying the gaps in health and climate change research

Peer Reviewed
1 October 2023

Yasna K. Palmeiro-Silva, Valerie A. Paz Soldán, Daniel Buss, Ariana Valcárcel, Bruno Takahashi, María Fernanda Salas, Marina Romanello, David Rojas-Rueda, Oscar Melo, Marisol Yglesias-González, Andrés G. Lescano, Romina Lavarello, Juliana Helo Sarmiento, Daniel Fernández-Guzmán, Ricardo Castillo Neyra, Katya Canal-Solis, Luciana Blanco-Villafuerte, Stella Hartinger

South America is experiencing the effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and changes in temperature and precipitation patterns. These effects interact with existing social vulnerabilities, exacerbating their impact on the health and wellbeing of populations. This viewpoint highlights four main messages from the series, which presented key gaps from five different perspectives of health and climate. First, there is an overall need for local analyses of priority topics to inform public policy, which include national and sub-national evidence to adequately strengthen responses and preparedness for climate change hazards and address relevant social vulnerabilities in South American countries. Second, research in health and climate is done in silos and the intersection is not clear in terms of responsibility and leadership; therefore, transdisciplinary research and action are key. Third, climate research, policies, and action need to be reflected in effective funding schemes, which until now are very limited. For adaptation and mitigation policies to be effective, they need a robust and long-term funding scheme. Finally, climate action is a big opportunity for healthier and more prosperous societies in South America, taking the advantage of strategic climate policies to face the challenges of climate change and tackle existing social inequities.

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Publication reference
Palmeiro-Silva, Y. K., Yglesias-González, M., Blanco-Villafuerte, L., Canal-Solis, K., Neyra, R. C., Fernández-Guzmán, D., Sarmiento, J. H., Lavarello, R., Lescano, A. G., Melo, O., Paz Soldán, V. A., Rojas-Rueda, D., Romanello, M., Salas, M. F., Takahashi, B., Valcárcel, A., Buss, D., & Hartinger, S. (2023). The Lancet Countdown South America: increasing health opportunities by identifying the gaps in health and climate change research. The Lancet Regional Health - Americas, 26, 100605.
Publication | 22 April 2024