Level of Knowledge and Awareness Regarding Climate Change and its Impact on Health

Rapid Communication

Austin J Nurs Health Care. 2023; 10(3): 1088.

Level of Knowledge and Awareness Regarding Climate Change and its Impact on Health

Shama Nazmeen¹*; Riffat Naheed²; Jamila Fatima³

¹BSN, Shifa College of Nursing, STMU, Sector H-8/4 Islamabad, Pakistan

²MSN, Shifa College of Nursing, STMU, Sector H-8/4 Islamabad, Pakistan

³BSN, Shifa College of Nursing, STMU, Sector H-8/4 Islamabad, Pakistan

*Corresponding author: Shama Nazmeen BSN, Shifa College of Nursing, STMU, Sector H-8/4 Islamabad. Farash Town, Phase II, House No. 2957, Street No. 44, Islamabad, Pakistan. Tel: 0344-2683599 Email: [email protected]

Received: November 17, 2023 Accepted: December 22, 2023 Published: December 29, 2023


Introduction: Climate change is the prevailing issue on hand. It has both direct and indirect impact on public health that ranges from increasing respiratory, infectious and vector-borne diseases to its impact on mental health, agricultural sector and food security. This increases disease burden and raises challenge for health sector in many ways. Nurses and other healthcare professionals are at key position to address this issue.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate level of knowledge and awareness regarding climate change and its impact on health among general population of public sector and Bari Imam Community.

Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among general population of Bari Imam Community and public sector. Data was collected from 150 participants. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 26. The results were expressed in descriptive statistics.

Results: Study findings show that 62% participants have knowledge about climate change. Out of 150 participants 80% thinks that climate change has impact on health. Only 32% participants are familiar with the fact that climate change can also impact mental health. 68% of participants are not aware policies and initiatives for mitigating impact of climate change. Only 42% of participants think that they can individually play a role in addressing climate change.

Conclusion: Climate change needs to be viewed as a public health issue and it is important to address the issue of climate change to decrease morbidity and mortality rate.

Keywords: Climate change; Health, Nurses; Impact; Knowledge


Climate change refers to shifts in temperature and weather patterns over a long period of time. These shifts maybe natural. Human activities have been main deriver of climate change [1]. Climate change can affect food safety, exposing people to contaminated foods that can result in foodborne illnesses [2]. In comparison to any previous time in the history of modern civilization, the Earth's climate is changing more quickly, and this is mostly due to human activities. Globally, people are already feeling the effects of climate change, and those effects are expected to get worse in the future. The economy, social systems, water quality, ecosystems, agriculture and food production, infrastructure, human health, and quality of life are just a few of the ways that climate change impacts communities [3].

The climate suitability for infectious disease transmission has been growing rapidly since the 1950s, with a 15·0% increase for dengue caused by Aedes albopictus in 2018, and regional increases for malaria and Vibrio bacteria. Globally, 7 million people die every year from air pollution. The health burden is substantial. Every year more than 1 million deaths occur as a result of air pollution from coal-fired power, and nearly 390 000 of these deaths were a result of particulate pollution in 2018. Morbidity and mortality rate was increased in 2019, where vulnerable populations were exposed to an additional 475 million heatwave events globally. During the past 20 years, there has been a 53·7% increase in heat-related mortality in people older than 65 years, reaching a total of 296 000 deaths in 2018 [4]. Within an average population of over 16 million, Karachi is the most populous metropolis in Pakistan. Concerns about health, the environment, and the economy are raised by this estimate. The incidence of serious infectious illnesses may rise as a result of climate change, particularly when it comes to changes in yearly weather patterns like the monsoons [5].

Multiple arboviral illnesses, including dengue virus, chikungunya virus, zika virus, west nile virus, and Japanese encephalitis virus, have the potential to spread in Karachi. In 2017, more than 30,000 residents of Karachi contracted the Chikungunya virus. Furthermore, the country has seen a sharp spike in dengue infections as a result of the recent floods, going from 3204 cases in 2018 to 45,120 cases in 2019. According to a recent research from 2017, gastrointestinal problems were reported by 14.9% of Karachi inhabitants, while malaria affected up to 22.4% of the city's population [5].

Disasters involving weather and climate-related risks cause thousands of fatalities globally each year and add to the world's disease burden [6]. The threats that climate change poses to human health are emphasized by the World Health Organization. Every year, The Lancet's "Commission on Health and Climate Change" which was founded in 2015, reports on the situation, providing various data and indicators on the impacts of climate change on population health as well as on the political and health policy choices made to lessen those negative effects.

The most current report was revised and released in December 2020. Increased morbidity due to dehydration, cardiovascular events, and infectious illnesses, as well as more often occurring severe temperatures (such as heat waves), might risk human life and reduce working hours [7]. If nothing is done to lessen the effects of climate change, the average world temperature may rise by 3-5°C by the end of the century. As a result, there are now fewer frigid winter days and more hot summer days [8]. In many areas, the spread of vector and water-borne illnesses is happening [7].

Climate change is linked to an increase in allergies and autoimmunity in those who were previously disease naive, as well as the aggravation of respiratory allergy disorders that were already present [9]. Increased cardiovascular disease, injuries, and early deaths from extreme weather events, changes in the prevalence and geographic distribution of food and water-borne infections, and other infectious diseases are some other health impacts of these disruptions [2].