Opportunities and challenges for financing women's, children's and adolescents' health in the context of climate change

Blanca Anton, Soledad Cuevas, Mark Hanson, Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta, Etienne V. Langlois, Domenico Gerardo Iaia, Giulia Gasparri, Josephine Borghi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Women, children and adolescents (WCA), especially in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), will bear the worst consequences of climate change during their lifetimes, despite contributing the least to global greenhouse gas emissions. Investing in WCA can address these inequities in climate risk, as well as generating large health, economic, social and environmental gains. However, women's, children's and adolescents' health (WCAH) is currently not mainstreamed in climate policies and financing. There is also a need to consider new and innovative financing arrangements that support WCAH alongside climate goals. We provide an overview of the threats climate change represents for WCA, including the most vulnerable communities, and where health and climate investments should focus. We draw on evidence to explore the opportunities and challenges for health financing, climate finance and co-financing schemes to enhance equity and protect WCAH while supporting climate goals. WCA face threats from the rising burden of ill-health and healthcare demand, coupled with constraints to healthcare provision, impacting access to essential WCAH services and rising out-of-pocket payments for healthcare. Climate change also impacts on the economic context and livelihoods of WCA, increasing the risk of displacement and migration. These impacts require additional resources to support WCAH service delivery, to ensure continuity of care and protect households from the costs of care and enhance resilience. We identify a range of financing solutions, including leveraging climate finance for WCAH, adaptive social protection for health and adaptations to purchasing to promote climate action and support WCAH care needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere014596
JournalBMJ Global Health
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • environmental health
  • global health
  • health economics
  • health insurance
  • health policies and all other topics

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