Planetary Health: Building the Field and Growing the Movement (Including Manuscripts 2022 Planetary Health Annual Meeting and Festival)

A special issue of Challenges (ISSN 2078-1547).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 80255

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Johns Hopkins Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA
2. Director, Planetary Health Alliance, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Interests: planetary health; climate; ecology and biodiversity; food, agriculture and nutrition; human health

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. School of Medicine, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
2. ORIGINS Project, Telethon Kids Institute at Perth Children’s Hospital, Nedlands, WA 6009, Australia
3. NOVA Institute for Health of People, Places and Planet, 1407 Fleet Street, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA
Interests: planetary health; ecological and social justice; immunology and inflammation; microbiome science; NCDs (noncommunicable diseases); nutrition; life-course wellness and ‘DOHaD’ (development origins of health and disease); integrative approaches to wellness and disease prevention
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Sunway Centre for Planetary Health, Sunway University, Petaling Jaya 47500, Selangor, Malaysia
2. Consultative Council for Foreign Policy Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 50566, Malaysia
3. Health White Paper Advisory Council at Ministry of Health, Malaysia Sustainability Advisor at Air Asia, Kuala Lumpur 50566, Malaysia
4. National Advisor of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, Kuala Lumpur 50566, Malaysia
5. Board of Roche in Switzerland and the Norwegian Refugee Council, 0131 Oslo, Norway
6. World Economic Forum's Global Future Council of Responsible Resource Use, and One of Three Global Champions for the Grand Bargain in Humanitarian Efficiency and Effectiveness, New York, NY 10017, USA
Interests: public health; planetary health; climate action; social justice; crisis management; reproductive health; education; international relations, private-public partnerships
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Head of the Planetary Health Brazil, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of São, Butantã 05508-060, SP, Brazil
2. Steering Committee, Planetary Health Alliance, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Interests: planetary health; biodiversity informatics; citizen science; science communication; computing engineering applied to agriculture, the environment and health

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Interests: remote sensing; land use; environment; vegetation; hyperspectral remote sensing; ecosystem ecology; spatial analysis; climate change impact analysist; vegetation mapping
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
2. Senior Program Manager, Planetary Health Alliance, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Interests: planetary health; geosciences; ecology and biodiversity; environmental and social justice; education and learning; collective impact
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
1. Quality Improvement Consultant, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA
2. Doctor of Nursing Practice Student, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA
Interests: planetary health; public health; nature-based solution; climate action; land conservation; ecology and biodiversity; process improvement; social and environmental justice; agriculture; education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce this Challenges Special Issue for the Proceedings of the 2022 Planetary Health Annual Meeting and Festival, October 31-November 2, 2022, at Harvard University in Boston, MA, USA.

Planetary health recognizes the intricate connections between the health and well-being of people and the planet's natural systems. This growing field of applied research, policy, and practice, presents an intentional and catalytic effort to take on one of the greatest challenges the world has faced. It seeks to characterize the impact of human-caused disruptions of Earth’s natural systems on our health and well-being. Planetary health also offers solutions-oriented approaches, bridging different disciplines and sectors across the arts, humanities, and sciences.

Convened by the Planetary Health Alliance, the theme of the meeting, Building the Field and Growing the Movement, brings together a diverse group of scientists, policymakers, civil-society, private-sector representatives, educators, students, and others to learn about these complex relationships, seek solutions, and build skills for action and change.

We warmly welcome submissions on any topic relevant to planetary health, including full papers based on conference presentations, abstracts, discussions, workshops, satellite events and/or ideas arising from the event. We also invite other submissions from the wider community that focus on understanding and improving the complex relationships between human health and planetary health—from any researchers, clinicians, practitioners, educators, students, community groups, and artists, seeking to advance the planetary health agenda.

Submissions may include original research, perspectives, case studies, initiatives or projects (either complete or still in progress), protocols, new proposals or ideas, and more creative works. While topics may be on any aspect of human, environmental, and societal health, we encourage all authors to articulate the ways in which their submission is relevant to some (or preferably, many) of the grand challenges of our time, and/or ways in which the work could contribute to planetary health. Examples of topics may be found below in the “keywords” below.

It is our hope that this Challenges Special Issue will facilitate collaborative vision and shared agendas that drive activity to link virtually every endeavor aimed at solving the interconnected challenges of our time—large and small alike—for the flourishing of people, places, and planet.

Dr. Samuel Myers
Prof. Dr. Susan Prescott
Prof. Dr. Jemilah Mahmood
Prof. Dr. Antonio Saraiva
Prof. Dr. Onisimo Mutanga
Dr. Marie Studer
Jo Bjorgaard
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information 

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Challenges is an international peer-reviewed open access semiannually journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Please note that all papers in this special issue will be published free of charge. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • planetary health
  • ecology, biodiversity, ecosystems, microbiomes, anthropogenic ecosystems
  • mental health, emotions and wellbeing, solastalgia, ecological grief
  • noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and infectious diseases
  • food systems, nutrition, food processing and nutritional ecology, planetary diets
  • lifestyle and the exposome, systems biology, machine learning, preventive medicine, bio-psychosocial medicine, high-level wellness
  • environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, climate change
  • urban landscapes, natural environments, nature-relatedness, green space, green prescriptions, biodiversity interdependence, cooperation, integration
  • social and ecological justice, intergenerational justice, health disparities, socioeconomic inequalities, displacement and conflict, migration, economic, political and commercial determinants of health
  • life-course (developmental origins), transgenerational perspectives, epigenetics
  • value systems, Indigenous knowledges, cultural shift, narrative medicine, storytelling, belief systems, traditional cultures, spirituality

Published Papers (22 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

11 pages, 774 KiB  
Article
The Burden of Yellow Fever on Migrating Humans through The Darién Gap, Adjacent Communities, and Primates’ Biodiversity
by Sabrina Simon, Marcos Amaku and Eduardo Massad
Challenges 2023, 14(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14040052 - 9 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1692
Abstract
Given the ongoing migratory crisis in Latin America, we aimed to assess the relationship between human mobility and the spread of yellow fever (YF) in the Darién Gap forest. We investigated how the time taken to cross the forest affects the burden of [...] Read more.
Given the ongoing migratory crisis in Latin America, we aimed to assess the relationship between human mobility and the spread of yellow fever (YF) in the Darién Gap forest. We investigated how the time taken to cross the forest affects the burden of a potential YF outbreak on people migrating through the forest, the burden on adjacent communities, and the risk to primate biodiversity. Using an SEIR-SEI deterministic compartmental model for humans, monkeys, and vectors, and numerical simulations, we considered the time taken to cross the forest as a measure of exposure. If an outbreak occurs, over 23,000 human cases are projected, with approximately 19,000 infected individuals leaving the forest. Monkeys would also be significantly affected, with the number of human deaths being determined by monkey-related parameters. The pace of crossing the forest is strongly related to the number of exposed and active cases leaving the forest. Panamanian communities must receive support to prepare themselves to protect residents and thousands of people arriving in their territory daily. It would also impact the non-human primate community within the forest, preventing a YF outbreak. This reinforces the importance of a planetary health perspective which reinforces the mutual benefits and connections between efforts to protect human health and conserve biodiversity. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 575 KiB  
Article
Reducing Environmental Impacts at a Midwestern Academic Medical Center: Making Carbon Emissions Reduction a Reality
by Johannah Bjorgaard and Teddie Potter
Challenges 2023, 14(4), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14040042 - 22 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1948
Abstract
(1) Background: Human-generated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the largest contributor to climate change worldwide. Climate change negatively impacts human and planetary health, threatening the existence of life on earth. The healthcare industry is responsible for approximately 8.5% of carbon emissions in the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Human-generated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the largest contributor to climate change worldwide. Climate change negatively impacts human and planetary health, threatening the existence of life on earth. The healthcare industry is responsible for approximately 8.5% of carbon emissions in the United States. Measuring baseline GHG emissions is the first step in emissions reduction. However, very few models of measurement exist for health care organizations. This project aimed to develop and implement a program to measure and track GHG emissions at a midwestern academic medical center (MAMC) and to educate staff on how to manage the process. (2) Methods: A Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle and Quality Improvement methodology were used to develop, implement, and assess a standardized GHG emission inventory process to measure Scope 1 and Scope 2 baseline emissions and provide virtual training and education to the accountable staff. A pre- and post-survey design was used to measure the knowledge and readiness of the staff after the implementation of the GHG inventory training. (3) Results: The GHG inventory process was validated through an external verification process, and the measurement of Scope 1 and Scope 2 baseline GHG emissions was completed and verified for accuracy through a data comparison review. The pre-post-training survey showed an increase in the knowledge and readiness of staff to maintain a GHG inventory. (4) Conclusions: This work shows the feasibility of obtaining baseline GHG emissions data at large medical centers. It represents the initial phase of the overarching goal to develop site-wide and system-wide carbon reduction strategies and a climate action plan within this health system. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 216 KiB  
Article
Planetary Health—Global Environmental Change and Emerging Infectious Disease: A New Undergraduate Online Asynchronous Course
by Kristina Monteiro, Ciciely Davy, Jesse Maurier and Katherine F. Smith
Challenges 2023, 14(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14030036 - 9 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1697
Abstract
Will a warmer world be a sicker world? What is it about the New England landscape that supports the proliferation of Lyme disease? How are local wildlife trade and global species invasions contributors to emerging diseases such as the 2003 outbreak of monkey [...] Read more.
Will a warmer world be a sicker world? What is it about the New England landscape that supports the proliferation of Lyme disease? How are local wildlife trade and global species invasions contributors to emerging diseases such as the 2003 outbreak of monkey pox virus in the midwestern United States? Undergraduate students explore these and related questions in BIOL 1455 Planetary Health: global environmental change and emerging infectious disease—a new online asynchronous course at Brown University. Planetary health is gaining traction in the curricula of institutions of higher learning and online asynchronous courses offer the promise of scaling up to make grand challenges education accessible to many. In our new course, we assessed student learning outcomes (LOs) and sentiment towards the health of humans and the planet using a mixed-methods approach. Students demonstrated competency in each of the LOs after course completion as measured in a pre–post assessment scored with a standardized rubric. Student sentiment was analyzed with an immersion–crystallization qualitative analysis to elucidate themes in responses to the assessments. Many themes on the pre-assessment focused on barriers and problems associated with the health of humans and the planet, while themes on the post-assessment centered on more solutions-based thinking. Collectively, these findings indicate that this online asynchronous course successfully educated students about the myriad challenges facing human and planetary health, broadened knowledge of environmental changes (beyond climate change) that impact health, formalized understanding of now common terms such as “emerging infectious diseases”, and bolstered hope by offering solutions and peer community (even when virtual). Future efforts to integrate planetary health into higher education should focus on broadly accessible and scalable courses, full programs of study (i.e., majors/scholarly concentrations), and extension into institutional programs focused on ensuring equity and wellness for all. Full article
20 pages, 1935 KiB  
Article
Forest Inventories in Private and Protected Areas of Paraguay
by Andrew G. Cervantes, Patricia T. Vega Gutierrez and Seri C. Robinson
Challenges 2023, 14(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14020023 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2599
Abstract
Environmental degradation in Paraguayan ecosystems relates to anthropogenic intervention and has intensified with wildfires and drought. To help mitigate forest cover loss, the local government created laws, parceled land to private owners, and established protected areas. How differences in land tenure regimes affect [...] Read more.
Environmental degradation in Paraguayan ecosystems relates to anthropogenic intervention and has intensified with wildfires and drought. To help mitigate forest cover loss, the local government created laws, parceled land to private owners, and established protected areas. How differences in land tenure regimes affect dendrology and biodiversity remain to be answered. This preliminary study examined the differences and similarities between three protected area forests (National Park Ybycuí, and Natural Monuments Cerro Koi, Cerro Chorori) and three family-owned forests in Guairá, Central, and Paraguarí of eastern Paraguay. Forty-three transects were established following FAO protocols to examine tree diversity, floristic composition, and complementary vegetation structure information using two biodiversity indexes. Nine hundred and three individuals were registered, representing 92 species, 80 genera, and 35 families. The most abundant families were Fabaceae, Rutaceae, Myrtaceae, and Rhamnaceae; and the most abundant genera were Pilocarpus, Columbrina, Acrocomia, Plina, and Astronium. The most important species were Parapiptadenia rigida, Peltophorum dubium, and Astronium fraxinifolium. Results showed higher species richness and significantly greater tree diversity, but a nonsignificantly larger diameter in private forests compared to protected areas studied. Detected differences were small, indicating a need for additional research of forests with differing land tenure regimes as climate dynamics continually shift and management strategies show effects. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 1833 KiB  
Communication
The Reemergence of Monkeypox in Nigeria
by Nzube Ekpunobi, Oluwamayowa Akinsuyi, Theresa Ariri and Temitope Ogunmola
Challenges 2023, 14(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14020022 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3444
Abstract
The emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases caused by viruses continue to be a major public health concern globally, affecting both humans and animals. One such disease is monkeypox, a zoonotic infection caused by the monkeypox virus (MPXV) that has recurred in sub-Saharan [...] Read more.
The emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases caused by viruses continue to be a major public health concern globally, affecting both humans and animals. One such disease is monkeypox, a zoonotic infection caused by the monkeypox virus (MPXV) that has recurred in sub-Saharan Africa over several decades. Notably, the 2022 outbreak of monkeypox in Nigeria follows a deadly outbreak in 2017, which was preceded by the disease’s first recorded outbreak in 1978. Epidemiological investigations in 2017 showed no apparent link between human monkeypox cases and the outbreak that year, indicating the potential existence of multiple sources of the virus and limited human-to-human transmission. This underscores the presence of an alternative ecological niche in humans. Furthermore, in some communities in Nigeria, monkeys are regarded as sacred and not hunted or consumed, leading to their proliferation and increased likelihood of MPXV transmission. This mini-review focuses on the occurrence, epidemiological distribution, geographical distribution, endemicity, and possible solutions to reduce the spread of human monkeypox in Nigeria. The implications of this reemergence and the need for effective public health measures to prevent and control outbreaks of monkeypox are also discussed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 227 KiB  
Article
Advancing Environmental Justice through the Integration of Traditional Ecological Knowledge into Environmental Policy
by Jennifer B. Rasmussen
Challenges 2023, 14(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14010006 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5119
Abstract
As our planet faces more frequent and severe environmental threats due to climate change (including threats to biodiversity), environmental justice will be essential to ensure that the costs and burdens of combating these threats are shared equally, borne by all people worldwide in [...] Read more.
As our planet faces more frequent and severe environmental threats due to climate change (including threats to biodiversity), environmental justice will be essential to ensure that the costs and burdens of combating these threats are shared equally, borne by all people worldwide in a fair and equitable manner. If the past is any indicator, however, environmental problems—and their “solutions”—disproportionately affect poor communities and communities of color, including Indigenous communities. Despite these past injustices, Indigenous lands, which make up only 20 percent of the Earth’s territory, contain 80 percent of the world’s remaining biodiversity—evidence that Indigenous peoples are among the most effective stewards of the environment. A primary reason for this remarkable statistic is the use and practice of Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge; ecological wisdom which has been passed down for generations and has been shown to strengthen community resilience in response to the multiple stressors of global environmental change. While the United States government has been slow to acknowledge the value of Traditional Ecological Knowledge, it has recently begun to incorporate that knowledge into environmental policy in response to the worldwide climate crisis. Continuing the integration of Traditional Ecological Knowledge into government environmental policy will ensure that such policies will be more effective at the federal, state, and local levels and more equitable in their application. Western scientists, government officials, and global leaders need to build trusting and co-equal relationships with Indigenous communities by actively listening to all cultures and respecting the many kinds of knowledge systems required to conserve the natural world and all living beings. This paper will address how incorporating Traditional Ecological Knowledge into U.S. policy would help safeguard the environment from further biodiversity loss and other ecological destruction, and advance environmental justice to ensure the fair treatment of all. Full article
14 pages, 272 KiB  
Article
Towards Youth-Centred Planetary Health Education
by Kate C. Tilleczek, Mark Terry, Deborah MacDonald, James Orbinski and James Stinson
Challenges 2023, 14(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14010003 - 8 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2264
Abstract
This paper presents data and analyses from our Planetary Health Film Lab (PHFL) and its sister project the Youth Climate Report. Qualitative data include semi-structured interviews with youth and their educators and content analysis of films produced by young people (ages 19–25) from [...] Read more.
This paper presents data and analyses from our Planetary Health Film Lab (PHFL) and its sister project the Youth Climate Report. Qualitative data include semi-structured interviews with youth and their educators and content analysis of films produced by young people (ages 19–25) from six countries (Australia, Columbia, Ecuador, Italy, India, Canada). The educative processes designed for the Planetary Health Film Lab are illustrative of our work to build the field of planetary health education that is with/for young people whose educative projects are mobilized in turn to educate wider audiences and for policy change. The analyses show how youth document and record planetary health concerns alongside responsive projects that are embedded in awareness of climate justice and their interconnected ecological systems. The qualitative content analyses of selected films resulted in three themes: (1) Anthropogenic footprints, (2) Ecological and climate justice, and (3) Collective local/global solutions. Data also illustrates how young people’s participation in educative film projects contribute to the education of others and address related intergenerational justice issues. Implications for the knowledge, ethics and practices of youth-centred planetary health education are discussed as they augment the Framework for Planetary Health. Youth are crucial but overlooked collaborators in redressing planetary health education, an error we begin to correct through transdisciplinary approaches with/for young people who could help define the field. Full article
20 pages, 1766 KiB  
Article
Transitioning to Sustainable Healthcare: Decarbonising Healthcare Clinics, a Literature Review
by David Duindam
Challenges 2022, 13(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe13020068 - 19 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5573
Abstract
Background: Climate change is one of the largest threats to human health and well-being globally. The healthcare industry itself currently contributes to fueling the climate crisis with its emissions and material consumption. There has been much research on decarbonising hospitals ecological/carbon footprints but [...] Read more.
Background: Climate change is one of the largest threats to human health and well-being globally. The healthcare industry itself currently contributes to fueling the climate crisis with its emissions and material consumption. There has been much research on decarbonising hospitals ecological/carbon footprints but very limited study on ways to assist healthcare clinics in transitioning to a low-carbon healthcare system. Methods: A structured literature review was conducted, and the results analysed. Results: The literature review revealed four important areas to act upon to decarbonise a healthcare clinic most efficiently. These are: energy use, waste minimisation/management, the behaviors/attitudes of staff, and decarbonising the supply chain. Conclusions: The pooled literature reveals an evidence-based set of recommendations or guiding principles to decarbonise healthcare clinics the most effectively. To maximise operational effectiveness, how this is achieved will differ between clinics. Although this research is written with reference to Australia, these identified ini-tiatives are likely to be relatable to many other countries healthcare systems. Decarbonising health clinics will contribute to a sector-wide transition to more sustainable healthcare that will lead to improved environmental, social, economic and health outcomes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 2362 KiB  
Article
Understanding the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Healthcare Professionals toward Climate Change and Health in Minnesota
by Madison Kircher, Brenna M. Doheny, Kristin Raab, Emily Onello, Stephanie Gingerich and Teddie Potter
Challenges 2022, 13(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe13020057 - 1 Nov 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3961
Abstract
Climate change is an urgent public health issue that is impacting health locally and across the world. Healthcare professionals are on the front lines for public health, caring for people affected by climate change; yet few studies have assessed their knowledge and experiences [...] Read more.
Climate change is an urgent public health issue that is impacting health locally and across the world. Healthcare professionals are on the front lines for public health, caring for people affected by climate change; yet few studies have assessed their knowledge and experiences of local climate change effects. The purpose of this study was to improve our understanding of the health impacts of climate change in Minnesota from the perspective of healthcare professionals. An electronic survey was administered by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to a convenience sample of Board-certified nurses and physicians in Minnesota. Seventy-five percent of respondents agreed that climate change is happening, and 60% agreed that it is currently impacting the health of their patients. However, only 21% felt well prepared to discuss climate change, and only 4% discussed climate change with all or most of their patients. Similarly, results from open-ended questions highlighted the importance of climate change and acknowledged the challenges of discussing this topic. While most respondents recognized the health impacts of climate change, they also reported feeling uncomfortable discussing climate change with patients. Thus, there is an opportunity to develop targeted resources to support healthcare professionals in addressing climate change. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

13 pages, 1005 KiB  
Review
Addressing Planetary Health through the Blockchain—Hype or Hope? A Scoping Review
by Rita Issa, Chloe Wood, Srivatsan Rajagopalan, Roman Chestnov, Heather Chesters and Geordan Shannon
Challenges 2024, 15(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe15010003 - 31 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2077
Abstract
Planetary health is an emergent transdisciplinary field, focused on understanding and addressing the interactions of climate change and human health, which offers interventional challenges given its complexity. While various articles have assessed the use of blockchain (web3) technologies in health, little consideration has [...] Read more.
Planetary health is an emergent transdisciplinary field, focused on understanding and addressing the interactions of climate change and human health, which offers interventional challenges given its complexity. While various articles have assessed the use of blockchain (web3) technologies in health, little consideration has been given to the potential use of web3 for addressing planetary health. A scoping review to explore the intersection of web3 and planetary health was conducted. Seven databases (Ovid Medline, Global Health, Web of Science, Scopus, Geobase, ACM Digital Library, and IEEE Xplore) were searched for peer-reviewed literature using key terms relating to planetary health and blockchain. Findings were reported narratively. A total of 3245 articles were identified and screened, with 23 articles included in the final review. The health focus of the articles included pandemics and disease outbreaks, the health of vulnerable groups, population health, health financing, research and medicines use, environmental health, and the negative impacts of blockchain mining on human health. All articles included the use of blockchain technology, with others additionally incorporating smart contracts, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The application of web3 to planetary health can be broadly categorised across data, financing, identity, medicines and devices, and research. Shared values that emerged include equity, decentralisation, transparency and trust, and managing complexity. Web3 has the potential to facilitate approaches towards planetary health, with the use of tools and applications that are underpinned by shared values. Further research, particularly primary research into blockchain for public goods and planetary health, will allow this hypothesis to be better tested. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1183 KiB  
Review
Mobilising the Next Generation of Planetary Health Leaders: The Dynamism of Youth Engagement in Malaysia
by Saidatul Maisarah Faiesall, Sarah Hanani Ahmad Tajuddin, Andrew Jason George, Nur Hazirah Marzuki, Oliver Lacey-Hall, Jemilah Mahmood, Gopalasamy Reuben Clements and Renzo Guinto
Challenges 2023, 14(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14010018 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2640
Abstract
With planetary health gaining traction as a global movement and problem-solving approach, this trans-disciplinary field is well-placed to provide an exciting and dynamic platform to promote engagement with young people. Previous studies have shown that although there is great energy and passion from [...] Read more.
With planetary health gaining traction as a global movement and problem-solving approach, this trans-disciplinary field is well-placed to provide an exciting and dynamic platform to promote engagement with young people. Previous studies have shown that although there is great energy and passion from youth, the global planetary health community struggles in sustaining young people’s motivations and engagement in today’s crowded physical and online environments. Planetary health advocates are also dealing with an increase in climate anxiety that has taken a toll on the emotional and mental wellbeing of young people. Here, we review our experience in engaging youth groups and networks in Malaysia through a four-pronged approach (consultation, facilitation, capacity-sharing, and evidence-building), as well as challenges commonly faced by the planetary health community in educating and building a youth movement. After a year of engagement, we found that mobilising the next generation of planetary health leaders requires a change in existing power dynamics to a capacity-sharing model, an emphasis on clear, simplified, and effective communications that utilise the mainstream youth spaces (e.g., social media), and hopeful messages to counter apathy and anxiety into action. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

28 pages, 1414 KiB  
Review
Public Health Impact and Health System Preparedness within a Changing Climate in Bangladesh: A Scoping Review
by Mahin Al Nahian
Challenges 2023, 14(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14010004 - 9 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 5852
Abstract
Bangladesh, one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world is also severely exposed to climate change (CC) impacts with a multitude of health complexities. Health adaptation to CC is thus a serious issue in Bangladesh, but not explored properly from a health [...] Read more.
Bangladesh, one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world is also severely exposed to climate change (CC) impacts with a multitude of health complexities. Health adaptation to CC is thus a serious issue in Bangladesh, but not explored properly from a health system and policy environment perspective. In order to address this gap and provide a holistic picture of the overall scenario, this scoping review explores CC impacts on the population health in Bangladesh and discusses the policy environment and health system preparedness against such climatic challenges. A total of 28 articles were reviewed following Arksey and O’Malley’s scoping review framework. A “5-point scale” was devised to assess CC integration in the health sector Operational Plans (OPs). Though the country made significant progress in different health indicators, poverty and income inequality have kept marginal communities out of many health provisions. There are four major stakeholders in the health system. The government sector is handicapped by poor governance, bureaucratic processes, and staff shortages; and primarily focuses on the public sector only. National Health Policy (NHP) governs the health system through 29 sectoral OPs, that put CC as a major cross-cutting issue. About 25% of the OPs have fully integrated CC and other OPs have significant CC co-benefits. In Bangladesh CC was linked to increased morbidity and mortality, diarrhea, cholera, skin problems, respiratory infections, malaria, dengue, kala azar, pre-eclampsia, and hypertension. Significant research gaps exist on child health, migrant health, and mental health. Integration of research evidence into policy, planning and program design is largely absent. However, prioritizing health for the National Adaptation Plan is an essential step towards establishing a climate-resilient health system. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

10 pages, 2561 KiB  
Project Report
Planetary Health Initiatives in Rural Education at a Riverside School in Southern Amazonas, Brazil
by Paula Regina Humbelino de Melo, Péricles Vale Alves and Tatiana Souza de Camargo
Challenges 2023, 14(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14040050 - 7 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1612
Abstract
Planetary Health is an expanding scientific field around the world, and actions in different areas are essential to minimize the environmental damage that compromises the future of humanity. This project report aims to describe the development of Planetary Health actions in a rural [...] Read more.
Planetary Health is an expanding scientific field around the world, and actions in different areas are essential to minimize the environmental damage that compromises the future of humanity. This project report aims to describe the development of Planetary Health actions in a rural school in the Brazilian Amazon, to understand and raise awareness of themes related to Planetary Health. To implement the educational activities, a booklet entitled “Planetary Health: Guide for Rural Education” was created. Subsequently, didactic sequences were applied to 37 ninth-grade students in the first semester of 2023. The activities were diversified, including: (1) investigative activities (pre-tests, interviews with family members, ecological footprint adapted to the Amazonian riverside context), (2) interpretative activities (image reading, identification and problem-solving for Planetary Health stories in the Amazon, educational cartoons, and graphs of the sectors with the highest pollution in Brazil and diseases associated with climate change), (3) audiovisual activities (educational videos), (4) playful activities (educational games), (5) practical and field activities (forest tracking, planting seedlings, sanitation trail, construction of a school garden, preparation of a healthy school snack, greenhouse effect simulation, and basic analysis of lake water with a probe). The results of the educational actions allowed students to undergo new experiences on Planetary Health themes, as well as understand the centrality of the Amazon for the planet and how the environmental impacts in this biome are compromising the future of humanity. The experiences during the educational actions showed that young riverside residents are concerned about the future of the Amazon, especially given the environmental destruction that is frequently evident, such as deforestation, fires, illegal mining, and land grabbing. Inserting these themes into riverside education makes it possible to look at the Amazon in a resilient, responsible way and to discuss scientific and local knowledge so that students can develop initiatives to face environmental challenges in their community. We conclude that Planetary Health education needs to be an effective part of the school curriculum, prioritizing reviewing the documents that guide education to prioritize transdisciplinary actions with children and young people, as they are the voices of the future and future leaders in emerging causes. Educational actions in Planetary Health in the Amazon region are an example that can inspire actions in other places with similar characteristics. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

30 pages, 4545 KiB  
Conference Report
Outcomes from the First European Planetary Health Congress at ARTIS in Amsterdam
by Remco Kort, Koen Arts, Josep M. Antó, Matty P. Berg, Gabrielle Cepella, Jennifer Cole, Amarylle van Doorn, Tomás van Gorp, Milo Grootjen, Joyeeta Gupta, Colin Hill, Eva van der Heide, Jef Huisman, Jopke Janmaat, Cristina O’Callaghan-Gordo, Juliette Mattijsen, Tulsi Modi, Evanne Nowak, Hans C. Ossebaard, Jessica den Outer, Bruno Pot, Frederike Praasterink, Marju Prass, Alexandre Robert, Michiel Roelse, Jaap Seidell, Hans Slabbekoorn, Wouter Spek, Ralf Klemens Stappen, Marleen Stikker, Jorieke van der Stelt, Marian Stuiver, Rembrandt Sutorius, Jip van Trommel, Martine Veenman, Christian Weij and Pim Martensadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Challenges 2023, 14(4), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14040049 - 4 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2178
Abstract
The First European Planetary Health Congress, held from 5 to 7 July 2023 at ARTIS in Amsterdam, represented a significant milestone in the global movement of Planetary Health. The event brought together 121 attendees from academia and the private sector dedicated to addressing [...] Read more.
The First European Planetary Health Congress, held from 5 to 7 July 2023 at ARTIS in Amsterdam, represented a significant milestone in the global movement of Planetary Health. The event brought together 121 attendees from academia and the private sector dedicated to addressing the impact of human disruptions to natural systems on the well-being of life on Earth. Co-organized by Natura Artis Magistra (ARTIS) and the European Hub of the Planetary Health Alliance (PHA), the Congress featured five workshops: The Future of Planetary Health Cities, Impact through Synergy, Planetary Health Education, Movement Building, and Food and Microbes. Oral presentations addressed the theme of how human health and the health of human civilization depend on the natural environment, including subthemes on Earth, Water, and Food. Additionally, the subtheme of Humans reflected on how humanity can thrive within Planetary Boundaries and how to imagine a prosperous future for all life on Earth. The First European Planetary Health Congress offered a platform for fostering sustainable, just, and equitable societies within ecological limits. Accordingly, ARTIS and the European Hub aim to shape a hopeful future for generations to come. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 277 KiB  
Conference Report
Planet.Health: An Ecosystem Approach to Imagine and Coordinate for Planetary Health Futures
by Geordan Shannon, Alix Faddoul, Alexander Lai, Tony Lai, Jeremy Lauer, Srivatsan Rajagopalan and Rita Issa
Challenges 2023, 14(4), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14040039 - 25 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1842
Abstract
Planet.Health addresses imagination and coordination challenges for planetary health through innovative approaches to social organising. This report presents the findings from the inaugural Planet.Health event in 2022, including the Planet.Health unconference. An unconference is a participant-driven event format that provides flexibility for emergent [...] Read more.
Planet.Health addresses imagination and coordination challenges for planetary health through innovative approaches to social organising. This report presents the findings from the inaugural Planet.Health event in 2022, including the Planet.Health unconference. An unconference is a participant-driven event format that provides flexibility for emergent ideas and connections. In this (un)conference report, we share the challenges, achievements, and lessons learned during the initial year of activities in the leadup to and following the Planet.Health unconference event. We also discuss how the intersection of web3 and planetary health—a major focus of the first year—provides an alternative lens for envisioning, innovating, and coordinating beyond conventional social and institutional frameworks. We explore the potential impact of web3 technologies and decentralised social, economic, and financial networks and highlight the implications of these approaches for addressing planetary crises and supporting a flourishing human–environment relationship. As a new contribution to the planetary health field, this work emphasises the importance of building decentralised systems to foster creative actions and inspire global engagement for planetary wellbeing. The report concludes with some practical insights on how we begin to build and sustain decentralised social networks, including a discussion of the benefits and limitations of these approaches. Full article
19 pages, 828 KiB  
Project Report
Investigating the Mental Health Impacts of Climate Change in Youth: Design and Implementation of the International Changing Worlds Study
by Ans Vercammen, Sandhya Kanaka Yatirajula, Mercian Daniel, Sandeep Maharaj, Michael H. Campbell, Natalie Greaves, Renzo Guinto, John Jamir Benzon Aruta, Criselle Angeline Peñamante, Britt Wray and Emma L. Lawrance
Challenges 2023, 14(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14030034 - 5 Aug 2023
Viewed by 5049
Abstract
As climate change continues unabated, research is increasingly focused on capturing and quantifying the lesser-known psychological responses and mental health implications of this humanitarian and environmental crisis. There has been a particular interest in the experiences of young people, who are more vulnerable [...] Read more.
As climate change continues unabated, research is increasingly focused on capturing and quantifying the lesser-known psychological responses and mental health implications of this humanitarian and environmental crisis. There has been a particular interest in the experiences of young people, who are more vulnerable for a range of reasons, including their developmental stage, the high rates of mental health conditions among this population, and their relative lack of agency to address climate threats. The different geographic and sociocultural settings in which people are coming of age afford certain opportunities and present distinct challenges and exposures to climate hazards. Understanding the diversity of lived experiences is vitally important for informing evidence-based, locally led psychosocial support and social and climate policies. In this Project Report we describe the design and implementation of the “Changing Worlds” study, focusing on our experiences and personal reflections as a transdisciplinary collaboration representing the UK, India, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, the Philippines, and the USA. The project was conceived within the planetary health paradigm, aimed at characterizing and quantifying the impacts of human-mediated environmental systems changes on youth mental health and wellbeing. With input from local youth representatives, we designed and delivered a series of locally adapted surveys asking young people about their mental health and wellbeing, as well as their thoughts, emotions, and perceived agency in relation to the climate crisis and the global COVID-19 pandemic. This project report outlines the principles that guided the study design and describes the conceptual and practical hurdles we navigated as a distributed and interdisciplinary research collaboration working in different institutional, social, and research governance settings. Finally, we highlight lessons learned, specify our recommendations for other collaborative research projects in this space, and touch upon the next steps for our work. This project explicitly balances context sensitivity and the need for quantitative, globally comparable data on how youth are responding to and coping with environmental change, inspiring a new vision for a global community of practice on mental health in climate change. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 2369 KiB  
Conference Report
Outcomes from the First European Planetary Health Hub Convening at ARTIS in Amsterdam
by Remco Kort, Jeremy Pivor, Josep M. Antó, Annemarie Bergsma, Peter J. Blankestijn, Olette Bollen, Egid van Bree, Joyce L. Browne, Judith de Bruin, Jasper Buikx, Chiara Cadeddu, Jennifer Cole, Francesca Costabile, Aimée de Croon, Anneliese Depoux, Ian Fussell, Bernhard Goodwin, Arte Groenewegen, Milo Grootjen, Jaana I. Halonen, Riitta-Maija Hämäläinen, Pieter ten Have, Martin Herrmann, Pauline de Heer, Godelieve van Heteren, Jopke Janmaat, Marija Jevtic, Hans Mulder, Nathalie Lambrecht, Vincenzo Lionetti, Camilla Alay Llamas, Maarten Manten, Pim Martens, Ariadna Moreno, Francine Müller, Cristina O’Callaghan-Gordo, Sara Muller, Cecilia Manosa Nyblon, Juliette Mattijsen, Hans Ossebaard, Karlien Pijnenborg, Nynke Postma, Lisa Pörtner, Marju Prass, Lekha Rathod, Alexandre Robert, Andrée Rochfort, Alexis Roig, Anja Schoch, Eva-Maria Schwienhorst-Stich, Ralf Klemens Stappen, Ingrid Stegeman, Jorieke van der Stelt, Peter Stenvinkel, Rembrandt Sutorius, Valesca Venhof, Martine Veenman, Leonardo Villani, Maike Voss, Michiel de Vries, Laura van der Zande, Andreea Zotinca, Arnau Queralt-Bassa and Samuel S. Myersadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Challenges 2023, 14(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14030033 - 14 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3379
Abstract
A new network of over 72 organizations from 12 countries was activated during a convening at ARTIS in Amsterdam on 26–27 September 2022. Representatives are aligned with the transdisciplinary field and social movement of Planetary Health, which analyzes and addresses the impacts of [...] Read more.
A new network of over 72 organizations from 12 countries was activated during a convening at ARTIS in Amsterdam on 26–27 September 2022. Representatives are aligned with the transdisciplinary field and social movement of Planetary Health, which analyzes and addresses the impacts of human disruptions to natural systems on human health and all life on Earth. The new European Planetary Health Hub consists of organizations from various sectors, including universities, healthcare, youth, business, and civil society. The Convening, co-organized by the Planetary Health Alliance (PHA), the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils Network (EEAC), and Natura Artis Magistra (ARTIS), aimed to develop Planetary Health Working Groups for Education, Policy Engagement, Research, and Movement Building. The Convening resulted in an outline for each of the Working Group’s aims, visions, missions, priorities, and activities, and set the framework for sustaining their activities in the future through the establishment of the European Planetary Health Hub Secretariat in the Netherlands. The Hub members shared lessons learned, built relationships, and developed artwork-inspired perspectives on Planetary Health. In conclusion, the Convening led to the establishment of a strong European foundation to contribute to the transformations needed for sustainable, just, and equitable societies that flourish within the limits of our ecosystems. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 288 KiB  
Perspective
Global Environmental Health Impacts of Rare Earth Metals: Insights for Research and Policy Making in Africa
by Habeebullah Jayeola Oladipo, Yusuf Amuda Tajudeen, Emmanuel O. Taiwo, Abdulbasit Opeyemi Muili, Rashidat Onyinoyi Yusuf, Sarat Ayomide Jimoh, Muhammad Kamaldeen Oladipo, Iyiola Olatunji Oladunjoye, Oluwaseyi Muyiwa Egbewande, Yusuff Inaolaji Sodiq, Abdulhakeem Funsho Ahmed and Mona Said El-Sherbini
Challenges 2023, 14(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14020020 - 3 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 7982
Abstract
The rise of globalization and industrialization has driven the demand for rare earth metals (REMs). These metals are widely used in various sectors of the global economy with various applications in medicine, renewable energy, electronics, agriculture, and the military. REMs are likely to [...] Read more.
The rise of globalization and industrialization has driven the demand for rare earth metals (REMs). These metals are widely used in various sectors of the global economy with various applications in medicine, renewable energy, electronics, agriculture, and the military. REMs are likely to remain an important part of our global future, and, as production increases, areas contaminated by REMs are expected to expand over the coming decades. Thus, triggering significant adverse environmental, animal, and human health impacts. Despite increased attention on REMs outside China in recent years, there are limited studies exploring REM production, deposits, and associated health impacts in the African context. Proper mine management, adequate safety protocols, sustainable processing methods, and waste handling systems have been identified and proposed globally; however, the nature and scale of implementing these management protocols on the African continent have been less clear. Therefore, planetary health-centered solutions are urgently needed to be undertaken by researchers, policy makers, and non-governmental actors in Africa and across the globe. This is with the overarching aim of ensuring eco-friendly alternatives and public health consciousness on REM exploitations and hazards for future generations to come. Full article
9 pages, 457 KiB  
Conference Report
Developing Trusted Voices for Planetary Health: Findings from a Clinicians for Planetary Health (C4PH) Workshop
by Michael Xie, Vanessa Góes, Melissa Lem, Kristin Raab, Tatiana Souza de Camargo, Enrique Falceto de Barros, Sandeep Maharaj and Teddie Potter
Challenges 2023, 14(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14010017 - 8 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2210
Abstract
Climate change, biodiversity loss, and other environmental changes are rapidly impacting the health of people worldwide, but many clinicians and other health professionals feel unprepared to deal with this burgeoning issue. During the Planetary Health Annual Meeting held in Boston in late 2022, [...] Read more.
Climate change, biodiversity loss, and other environmental changes are rapidly impacting the health of people worldwide, but many clinicians and other health professionals feel unprepared to deal with this burgeoning issue. During the Planetary Health Annual Meeting held in Boston in late 2022, the Clinicians for Planetary Health (C4PH) working group hosted a workshop that highlighted the latest findings of clinicians’ attitudes towards climate change, connections with the related fields of lifestyle medicine and integrative health, lessons learned from implementing “one minute for the planet” in a rural Brazilian clinic, and the benefits of clinicians prescribing time in nature for their patients. This article ends with a few suggestions for healthcare providers to begin implementing planetary health into their professional practice. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1515 KiB  
Perspective
Traditional Foods, Globalization, Migration, and Public and Planetary Health: The Case of Tejate, a Maize and Cacao Beverage in Oaxacalifornia
by Daniela Soleri, David Arthur Cleveland, Flavio Aragón Cuevas, Violeta Jimenez and May C. Wang
Challenges 2023, 14(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe14010009 - 29 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3345
Abstract
We are in the midst of an unprecedented public and planetary health crisis. A major driver of this crisis is the current nutrition transition—a product of globalization and powerful multinational food corporations promoting industrial agriculture and the consumption of environmentally destructive and unhealthy [...] Read more.
We are in the midst of an unprecedented public and planetary health crisis. A major driver of this crisis is the current nutrition transition—a product of globalization and powerful multinational food corporations promoting industrial agriculture and the consumption of environmentally destructive and unhealthy ultra-processed and other foods. This has led to unhealthy food environments and a pandemic of diet-related noncommunicable diseases, as well as negative impacts on the biophysical environment, biodiversity, climate, and economic equity. Among migrants from the global south to the global north, this nutrition transition is often visible as dietary acculturation. Yet some communities are defying the transition through selective resistance to globalization by recreating their traditional foods in their new home, and seeking crop species and varieties customarily used in their preparation. These communities include Zapotec migrants from the Central Valleys of the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca living in greater Los Angeles, California. Focusing on the traditional and culturally emblematic beverage tejate, we review data from our research and the literature to outline key questions about the role of traditional foods in addressing the public and planetary health crisis. We conclude that to answer these questions, a transnational collaborative research partnership between community members and scientists is needed. This could reorient public and planetary health work to be more equitable, participatory, and effective by supporting a positive role for traditional foods and minimizing their harms. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 361 KiB  
Viewpoint
The Medical Education Planetary Health Journey: Advancing the Agenda in the Health Professions Requires Eco-Ethical Leadership and Inclusive Collaboration
by Michelle McLean, Georgia Behrens, Hannah Chase, Omnia El Omrani, Finola Hackett, Karly Hampshire, Nuzhat Islam, Sarah Hsu and Natasha Sood
Challenges 2022, 13(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe13020062 - 1 Dec 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3084
Abstract
Climate change and the declining state of the planet’s ecosystems, due mainly to a global resource-driven economy and the consumptive lifestyles of the wealthy, are impacting the health and well-being of all Earth’s inhabitants. Although ‘planetary health’ was coined in 1980, it was [...] Read more.
Climate change and the declining state of the planet’s ecosystems, due mainly to a global resource-driven economy and the consumptive lifestyles of the wealthy, are impacting the health and well-being of all Earth’s inhabitants. Although ‘planetary health’ was coined in 1980, it was only in the early 2000s that a call came for a paradigm shift in medical education to include the impact of ecosystem destabilization and the increasing prevalence of vector-borne diseases. The medical education response was, however, slow, with the sustainable healthcare and climate change educational agenda driven by passionate academics and clinicians. In response, from about 2016, medical students have taken action, developing much-needed learning outcomes, resources, policies, frameworks, and an institutional audit tool. While the initial medical education focus was climate change and sustainable healthcare, more recently, with wider collaboration and engagement (Indigenous voices, students, other health professions, community), there is now planetary health momentum. This chronological account of the evolution of planetary health in medical education draws on the extant literature and our (an academic, students, and recent graduates) personal experiences and interactions. Advancing this urgent educational agenda, however, requires universities to support inclusive transdisciplinary collaboration among academics, students and communities, many of whom are already champions and eco-ethical leaders, to ensure a just and sustainable future for all of Earth’s inhabitants. Full article
11 pages, 276 KiB  
Viewpoint
Emerging Arboviruses of Public Health Concern in Africa: Priorities for Future Research and Control Strategies
by Yusuf Amuda Tajudeen, Habeebullah Jayeola Oladipo, Iyiola Olatunji Oladunjoye, Rashidat Onyinoyi Yusuf, Hammed Sodiq, Abass Olawale Omotosho, Damilola Samuel Adesuyi, Sodiq Inaolaji Yusuff and Mona Said El-Sherbini
Challenges 2022, 13(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe13020060 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4216
Abstract
Arboviruses are most prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions, where arthropods are widespread. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that the mortality burden of arbovirus diseases, such as yellow fever in Africa, was 84,000–170,000 severe cases and 29,000–60,000 deaths in 2013. These epidemics [...] Read more.
Arboviruses are most prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions, where arthropods are widespread. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that the mortality burden of arbovirus diseases, such as yellow fever in Africa, was 84,000–170,000 severe cases and 29,000–60,000 deaths in 2013. These epidemics emphasize the urgent need for integrated control and prevention of arboviral diseases. Challenges in managing and controlling arboviral diseases in Africa are mainly attributed to poor insect vector control, insecticide resistance, and poor sanitation and solid waste management. The removal or reduction of mosquito populations amongst susceptible individuals is identified as the most effective measure to control many vector-borne diseases. Current public health needs call for efficient vector control programs and maintenance of adequate surveillance systems through the availability of trained personnel and rapid diagnostic facilities, providing an interdisciplinary response to control and mitigate the threats of emerging and re-emerging arboviruses. Furthermore, research priorities should focus on understanding the factors responsible for adaptation to other vectors, determinants of infection and transmission, and the development of high efficiency antiviral molecules or candidate vaccines. Here, we explore and review our current understanding of arboviruses of public health importance in Africa, with a focus on emerging arboviruses, their arthropod vectors, and the epidemiology of major arboviruses. Finally, we appraise the role of planetary health in addressing the threat of arboviruses and identify other priority areas of research for effective control. Full article
Back to TopTop