Perceptions Of Rural Nepalese: Climate Change As A Human Health Risk | 12109
Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change
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ery little is known concerning the local people understanding of climate change and the consequences it places on their
health and well-being. This paper analyzes how the people of the remote areas of Nepal perceive climate change as a human
health risks. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 195 randomly selected respondents in ward number one, eight, and
nine of Sardi Khola VDC of Kaski District between September and December 2012. Large percentages of respondents identified
diarrhea (89%), allergies (69%), asthma and respiratory conditions (67%), malaria (65%), and sunburn (59%) as being associated
with climate change. In addition, a large majority of respondents said that climate change poses a serious danger health impacts
in their family (93%) and their community (92%). The study also showed that the respondents were more likely to see people in
developing countries (93%) as being at risk than people in their own nation (90%). Increasing rates of serious disease (worldwide,
91%) and water shortage (in Nepal, 86%) were seen as the most likely consequence of climate change over the next half century.
Overall, this study shows that people have higher risk perception about climate change as a human health risk. Those who were
literate (72%) and concerned about the issue of climate change (81%) perceived higher risk than those who were illiterate (25%),
and not concerned about the climate change issue (18.2%). It is recommended that the government and the NGOs need to
strengthen public health awareness about climate change.
Amrit Banstola has completed his degree of Bachelor of Public Health (BPH) from Pokhara University. He is the founder cum editor in chief of Public
Health Perspective (PHP)?the first public health online newsletter of Nepal. He is climate change health activist of Nepal and a youth leader speak
column writer for Climate Himalaya, an India based organization that works on climate change issues of mountainous countries of South East Asia.
He is also a country coordinator of HIFA 2015 and teaching assistant at Kantipur College of Medical Sciences, Kathmandu, Nepal
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