DDD Conference

Dr. Adetoun Mustapha

Climate Change Induced Humanitarian Needs and Health Inequities in the Lake Chad Basin Region of Africa

Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Nigeria

Lake Chad, once one of Africa’s largest freshwater bodies and a source of livelihood for about 30 million, has diminished by 90% since the 1960s due to the cumulative negative effects of population growth, urbanisation, unsustainable water and land management, over-exploitation and climate change effects. The Lake Chad “Basin” covers almost 8% of the continent and spreads over seven countries: Algeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Libya, Niger and Nigeria. Climate dependent activities and agriculture provide income and employment for most of the population. People who relied on the lake started migrating to other areas in search of water. Conflict between herders and farmers became common as livelihoods were lost. For over a decade, violence created by non-state armed groups in the region has led to internal displacement of about 3 million people as at November 2021, impacting the social, political, security and humanitarian conditions of communities bordering the lake (International Office of Migration, 2021). Studies have shown that the displaced persons encountered barriers to healthcare access. Poverty was identified as the main personal barrier to the displaced persons’ healthcare access while communication was reported to be a barrier to healthcare acceptability (Oginni et al, 2021). This case highlights humanitarian needs and health inequities that are aggravated by climate change in developing countries, which need to become a priority in the public health research agenda. It further underlines the urgency with which the international community needs to increase finance for climate change mitigation in such regions. Ways that international collaboration can make this achievable will be discussed

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