Agence France-Presse quoted Peter Sand, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, that climate change may eventually lead to the extinction of humanity, leading to the emergence of deadly infectious diseases.
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So far, the sudden spike in malaria cases has been caused by the increased frequency and destruction of tropical storms, but “with the floods in Pakistan, it has taken on a whole new dimension,” Sand stressed.
“The mechanism by which climate change ultimately kills people is its effect on infectious diseases,” Sand said, noting that parts of Africa that have not been affected by malaria are now at risk as temperatures rise there and mosquitoes are allowed to thrive, especially in areas at higher altitudes.
According to Sand, the population of these areas will not be immunized, hence the risk of a high death rate.
He said other threats include the spread of tuberculosis among the growing numbers of displaced people around the world. “TB is a disease that develops when extremely frightened people are concentrated in a small space with insufficient food and shelter,” he explained.
Sand also said that food insecurity will make people more vulnerable to disease.
Will there be another pandemic?
When asked by AFP if the world was more prepared for the next pandemic than COVID-19, he answered in the affirmative, but with the caveat that “It doesn’t mean we’re well prepared, we’re not as unprepared as we used to be.”
“2022 was a brutal year for the world’s poorest communities. HIV, tuberculosis and malaria kill many more people than COVID-19,” Sand emphasized.
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