Malawi President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera will on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, host the Malawi Partners Conference in New York, US, marking the beginning of mobilizing international resources for reconstructing the systems Malawi lost to Cyclone Freddy and other climate disasters that preceded it.
Speaking at the Pre-COP28 Health Day Side Event, President Chakwera called for the need to allocate adequate resources and predictable funding for the reconstruction of health facilities and rehabilitation of health programs.
He said the Malawi Government, together with partners like Seed Global Health, the World Health Organization, and COP28, they can showcase Malawi as a model for building climate resilience for health service delivery.
“In this regard, the decision to designate a Health Day at COP28 will undoubtedly shape the future of our planet, recognizing that health must be at the core of climate discussions. This decision will encourage development of policies and strategies to combat climate change and their direct health implications.
“I would therefore like to urge us to prioritize the recommendations from the Libreville Convention on Climate and Health, as well as earlier climate change related decisions that pinpoint the importance of substantial financial investments for resilience building against climate change in developing countries.
“I also call for increased investments in climate and health research and actions in the African Region, and you are more than welcome to pilot such programs in Malawi,” said Chakwera.
He called upon the delegates to COP28 to reflect on Mental Health and Wellbeing to catalyze discussions on the psychosocial support that is needed for communities affected by climate induced disasters, recognizing mental health as integral to overall well-being.
He also asked them to consider synergizing climate and health data by streamlining collection and sharing of climate and health data, empowering evidence-based policy decisions to protect public health.
“COP28 presents an opportunity to integrate health concerns further into climate adaptation strategies, fostering resilience in healthcare systems and ensuring access to medical services during climate-related challenges,” said Chakwera.