Strengthening climate-resilient health systems: opportunities and challenges at policy and facility level – webinar

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ReBUILD for Resilience and Oxford Policy Management (OPM) presented a webinar to share experiences on supporting climate-resilient health systems, drawing lessons for both the policy and facility levels.


Background to the webinar

The climate crisis is a health crisis, threatening food, water, and air quality, worsening disease and extreme weather, and putting physical, mental, and social wellbeing at risk. Strengthening health system capacities to adapt to the implications of climate change is vital, as is action to reduce health sector contributions to climate change.

This webinar shared experience from OPM’s work with governments and partners to support climate-resilient health systems, with a view to exchanging ideas and supporting cross-country learning on challenges, policy options and research gaps.

Lessons from three complementary perspectives were presented: from multi-country cross-government research, from a single-country whole health system overview, and with respect to infrastructure and funding.


Webinar agenda

How can climate resilience be mainstreamed in government policy?
SpeakerElizabeth Gogoi [opens new tab], Principal Consultant, Climate Change Portfolio, OPM India

Elizabeth drew on a framework developed under Action on Climate Today [opens new tab], a project that supported five national and ten sub-national governments across the South Asia region to mainstream and adapt to climate change. The framework considers different entry points, the creation of an enabling environment and political economy drivers, and will be illustrated with examples from the health sector.


Supporting government strategy for a climate resilient health system: learning from Pakistan
Speaker: Dr Mahwish Hayee [opens new tab], Principal Consultant in Health Systems Strengthening, OPM Pakistan

Mahwish’s presentation drew on work with the Government of Pakistan, including a scoping study to understand the extent to which climate resilience is addressed in Pakistan’s health system, the development of a Framework of Action on Climate Resilient Health Systems, and action to operationalise this Framework. The presentation provided background on the climate/health context and need for action (e.g. climate-related shocks, changing disease burden), current health system climate resilience, identified areas for action, the planned government response and future action.


How can climate resilience in the health sector be financed?
Speaker: Kenneth C Ene [opens new tab], Senior Technical Advisor, Climate Change Practice, OPM USA

Ken shared findings from multi-country research on using climate finance to support resilient health facility infrastructure, specifically renewable energy. The presentation included case studies from Nepal, Nigeria and India. He presented an overview of climate finance (e.g. scale and different sources) and information on the potential opportunities, challenges and ways that partners can support governments in accessing climate finance to support health system resilience.

The speakers were joined by discussants:

  • Dr Renzo Guinto [opens new tab]- Associate Professor of Global and Planetary Health at SingHealth Duke-NUS Global Health Institute and Chair of Health System Global’s Thematic Working Group on Climate Resilient and Sustainable Health Systems.
  • Helen Yaxley [opens new tab] – Senior Policy Advisor for Climate Change and Health at the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

The session was chaired by Dr Sushil Baral [opens new tab], Director of HERD International which is engaged in a number of climate change and health studies in Nepal.


Further information

Read the webinar slides here.


The image used in the webinar is: Bangladesh – Flooding, 2019 – UN Women/Mohammad Rakibul Hasan via Flickr [opens new tab] CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED