Planetary Health report calls for immediate global action to protect health of human civilization

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MINISTER OF STATE FOR NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICES REGULATION AND COORDINATION SAIRA AFZAL TARAR ADDRESSING THE LAUNCH OF THE ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION LANCET COMMISSION REPORT ON PLANETARY HEALTH IN ISLAMABAD ON JULY 24, 2015

ISLAMABAD, Jul 24:  Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar has said that our country is frequently challenged by natural disasters, hence we are fully cognizant of the need to accord this area priority.  She was addressing the launch of the Planetary Health Commission Report here on Friday.
She said Environmental challenges have been double edged for us in terms of policy responses. To cite an example, at the one extreme stands the monsoon flooding, which brings in its wake acute challenges of an emergency nature but on the other hand are the slow and insidious water shortage issues. We see evidence of both, day to day.
She said that our government’s foremost concern is to ensure the safety of the population there and get them on the road to recovery and rehabilitation soon. A new report released by The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health, calls for immediate, global action to protect the health of human civilization and the natural systems on which it depends.
The report, Safeguarding Human Health in the Anthropocene Epoch, provides the first ever comprehensive examination of evidence showing how the health and well-being of future generations is being jeopardised by the unprecedented degradation of the planet’s natural resources and ecological systems.
The report was written by a Commission of 15 leading academics and policymakers from institutions in 8 countries, including Dr. Sania Nishtar, President Heartfile Pakistan. It demonstrates how human activity and development have pushed to near breaking point the boundaries of the natural systems that support and sustain human civilizations.
“The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Planetary Health Commission has issued a dire warning: human action is undermining the resilience of the earth’s natural systems, and in so doing we are compromising our own resilience, along with our health and, frankly, our future,” said Dr Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation.
“We are in a symbiotic relationship with our planet, and we must start to value that in very real ways. Just as Foundation leaders 100 years ago took a holistic view and launched the field of public health, the Commission’s report marks a paradigm shift for a new era of global public health, one that must be integrated with broader policy decisions.”
The Commission warns that a rising population, unsustainable consumption and the over-use of natural resources will exacerbate these health challenges in the future. The world’s poorest communities will be among those at greatest risk, as they live in areas that are most strongly affected and have greater sensitivity to disease and poor health.

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