“There’s Not Really Much Consideration Given to the Effect of the Climate on NCDs”—Exploration of Knowledge and Attitudes of Health Professionals on a Climate Change-NCD Connection in Barbados Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Despite widespread awareness of the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the growing threat of climate change, little research has explored future health outcomes that will occur at the intersection of these challenges. Ten Barbadian health professionals were interviewed to assess their knowledge of health risks of climate change as it relates to NCDs in Barbados as a case study of a small island state at risk. There is widespread concern among health professionals about the current and future prevalence of non-communicable diseases among Barbadians. There is less concern about the future burden of NCDs in the context of a changing climate, largely because of a lack of knowledge among the majority of the health experts interviewed. Those knowledgeable about potential connections noted the difficulty that climate change would pose to the prevention and management of NCDs, given the impacts of climate stressors to food security, the built environment, and physiological and psychosocial health impacts. Lack of awareness among health professionals of the risk climate change poses to NCD prevalence and impact is reflective of the country’s health priorities that fail to recognize the risk of climate change. We recommend efforts to disseminate information about climate change to stakeholders in the health sector to increase awareness.

publication date

  • December 27, 2019