BLOGS & ESSAYS | On Covid-19, Climate Change, and Healthcare

The Covid-19 pandemic has not only presented to us the numerous vulnerabilities within our healthcare system, public health emergency response, governance, and communities. It has most especially taught us that our health and safety (including the planet’s) depends on collective action.

Through this collection of blogs, vlogs and essays from our very own network of health professionals, environmental justice advocates, medical organizations, and students, we hope to shine more light on the connections between the now, the preexisting climate problems, and the move forward.


Earth Day at 50: Lessons for the post-coronavirus world - by Dr. Renzo Guinto, Rappler | “Our journey to the post-COVID era, no matter how long it might be, must embrace a different narrative – not that of return to old dirty habits, but of transition to a new realm that gives priority to the health of people and the planet.”

World Health Day Message from the Philippine College of Physicains | "By serendipity, the decrease in fossil fuel consumption during the community quarantine lifted the veil of pollution in the horizon and in our seas and gave nature and our health some time to recover from years of neglect and deterioration."

Managing Covid-19 related Health care Waste - by Dr. Esperanza Cabral & Paeng Lopez, Rappler Philippines | "Segregating waste at source should always be observed. There is no need to burn or incinerate Covid-19 related waste since medical waste autoclaves that use pressurized steam at 30psi at saturation time of 30 minutes are known to kill any heat resistant pathogens without need for use of any chemicals."

Coronavirus and climate change require bold and urgent action - by Ludwig Federigan, Manila Times | "Developing nations like the Philippines are the vulnerables. The economic stress and impact on our government and our people would likely be higher and greater. People living in poverty and lacking health insurance or secured employment cannot afford to be sick or miss work, otherwise, there will be no food to put on the table for the family or allowance to send children to school.

World Health Day message from the Asian Medical Students Association - Philippines | "In flattening the curve, we should work on movements adjunct to supporting those in the frontline, educate the people in the importance of health, social, and environmental responsibility, and hold those in positions accountable for the betterment of the health sector and for social welfare in its utmost capability."

Coronavirus and Climate Change: is there any connection? - by Ludwig Federigan, Manila Times | "Climate and health impacts do not occur in isolation, and an individual or community could face multiple threats at the same time, at different stages in one’s life, or accumulating over the course of one’s life, the report continued to explain."

Employment and Women's Situation in the time of Covid-19 - by Pats Oliva | "Similar to the impacts of climate change on the public’s health, disease outbreaks also impact women and men differently. While pandemics make prevailing inequalities much worse for women and girls among other marginalized sectors such as children, persons with disabilities, people of old age, and those living in extreme poverty.

Coronavirus: What must we change to address the climate emergency? - by Ludwig Federigan, Manila Times | "We need to enact laws and institute policies that envision a more sustainable, greener and habitable environment – where humans can live in harmony with nature. We need to continue educating our people on the easy-to-do, eco-friendly solutions that will deliver profound effects for our health and the health of our common home."

Women and Girls’ Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Empowerment Toward Climate-resiliency - by Neal Roxas | "Sexual and reproductive health and rights are imperative in empowering women. A basic right which has been curtailed for most Filipino women, especially those living in urban poor and rural communities. Women empowerment, through SRHR, is proven to strengthen climate-resiliency of communities."

Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) President's Message - Navigating the Uncharted Territory of Covid-19 | "These strategies cover essential areas which include Communication and Public Education, Healthcare Workers Protection, Contagion Suppression, Rallying Volunteerism, Treatment Guidelines, Research, and Membership Support."

 

The Absurdity of being a Healthcare Worker - by Dr. JM Deblois, Inquirer.net | "It has been said a lot of times, COVID-19 exposes a country’s healthcare weaknesses. For us healthcare workers who knew this since our first foray in community medicine, we assert that it should not have taken something like this for us to really see what is happening."

What young people can learn from Florence Nightingale - by Qjiel Giuliano Mikhl Z. Mariano, nursing student | "Through her efforts, she saved countless lives of wounded soldiers in the times of the Crimean war. She developed a theory in which the health of an individual is as important as the health of the environment. Clean air quality, healthful diets, and nurturing places - Florence was ahead of her time in sustaining the lives of people.

 


VLOGS

 

"Environmental health is interrelated with the public's health..." || Kevin Aboy is a Public Health and Climate Youth Activist from UP Manila Saribuhay - a university-based, socio-civic, environment-oriented organization in UP Manila; the organization believes that the Filipino youth has an important and crucial role to fulfil in nation building and has the capacity to advance genuine social change and progress.

"While at first blush these two current crises [coronavirus and climate change] are not necessarily related to one another, there are a series of climate change-coronavirus connections that are worth examining, as they reveal several common causes, synergistic impacts, and shared solutions." || Based on Josh Karliner's Medium Article, "Coronavirus and the Climate Crisis"

Adventist Medical Center Manila is a member of the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) Network in the Philippines. They confront the coronavirus with their hospital's best practices like Plant-based food for staff and patients, proper healthcare waste management, and strengthened online health information systems to name a few.

 


This resource page will be updated regularly with new additions. If you have a blog or an essay, we'd love to feature it here as well. You may email your write-up to poliva@hcwh.org and infoasia@hcwh.org