20 Oct 2009

Doctors' body says an action plan needed to cope with an anticipated rise in disease

2:27 pm on 20 October 2009

The World Medical Association is calling for an action plan to help prepare for anticipated rise in disease as the world's temperatures rise.

Health practitioners expect that certain diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever, will increase and spread to new areas.

The WMA has just met in India and it set out a Declaration of Delhi to counter the threat.

Its executive councillor, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, says the declaration's aim is to bring health issues to centre stage in the climate change debate.

"This is trying to bring to the forefront of people' minds that climate change will have effects on the health of people in our region and that we need to do what we can to reduce the impact of climate change but also that we prepare for the newer, less common form of diseases we expect."

Mukesh Haikerwal says the plan includes a call for funds for vulnerable countries to help strengthen their health systems and plans to prepare for climate emergencies.