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Climate and Health

Building a low carbon, climate adaptive & resilient health system in Uganda
Uganda’s climate has been changing over time, with the average temperature across the country
rising and the frequency of hot days increasing. These changes in the climate have contributed to
significant extreme weather events including increased frequency and intensity of droughts,
floods, heatwaves, and landslides. Climate change has significant direct and indirect health
implications for the Ugandan people and health system. Climate change has for example
aggravated the occurrence of water-borne diseases such as dysentery, cholera, hepatitis E;
vector-borne diseases especially malaria; respiratory diseases; and malnutrition-related illnesses
further straining the health system.

Across sub-Saharan Africa, health systems are fragile, weak, and inadequately funded with less
potential to contain shocks and stressors due to health emergencies and climate change as has
been demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The health system should thus be climate resilient
that despite an unstable climate, it should ‘anticipate, respond to, cope with, recover from
and adapt to such shocks and stress, to bring sustained improvements in population health. The
extent to which Uganda’s health system has been able to accomplish these is unclear and neither
have the lessons been documented to inform building future system capacity for response,
adaptability, and resilience in Uganda and elsewhere.