Lahore (PR): Human health is profoundly affected by weather and climate , despite considerable progress in health services delivery and reforms over the last few years, say speakers at a seminar organised by Project Management Unit-Punjab Public Health Agency (PMU-PPHA), Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, Government of the Punjab.

Experts warn that Pakistan could approach “absolute scarcity” levels of water and face a drought as early as 2025. Together, these hazards pose not only threats to individual health; but also to economic growth, food security, and environmental sustainability in the province and for Pakistan. Efforts to include environmental considerations in all phases of policy making, planning, and development must, therefore, be actively pursued.

Deaths from extreme weather events such as heat stress, along with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, infectious disease outbreaks, and malnutrition are on the rise. On top of that, Punjab is experiencing a population boom and consequently, the burden of disease on limited healthcare resources is reaching critical levels. The effects of climate change aren’t limited to human health or healthcare systems either; they also undermine food and water supplies, overload the existing infrastructure, and stress existing social protection systems.

Dr. Shabnum Sarfraz (A) CEO PPHA welcomed the Chief Guest, Begum Zakia Shahnawaz Khan, Provincial Minister for Environment Protection, Provincial Minister Primary and Secondary Healthcare, Khawaja Imran Nazeer, and Provincial Minister Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education, Khawaja Salman Rafique.