1st Edition

Climate Change and the Health Sector Healing the World

    268 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    268 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    The health sector is known to be one of the major contributors towards the greenhouse gas emissions causing the climate crisis, the greatest health threat of the 21st century. This volume positions the health sector as a leader in the fight against climate change and explores the role of the health system in climate policy action. It delivers an overview of the linkages between climate change and the health sector, with chapters on the impact of climate change on health, its connection to pandemics, and its effects on food, nutrition and air quality, while examining gendered and other vulnerabilities. It delves into the different operational aspects of the health sector in India and details how each one can become climate-smart to reduce the health sector’s overall carbon footprint, by looking at sustainable procurement, green and resilient healthcare infrastructure, and the management of transportation, energy, water, waste, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and plastics in healthcare.

    Well supplemented with rigorous case studies, the book will be indispensable for students, teachers, and researchers of environmental studies, health sciences and climate change. It will be useful for healthcare workers, public health officials, healthcare leaders, policy planners and those interested in climate resilience and preparedness in the health sector.


    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.


    1.      Health Sector Leadership to Combat Climate Change

    Alexander Thomas, Divya Alexander, Girdhar Gyani

    2.      The Role of Health Systems in the Indian and Global Context

    Preeti Soni, Manish Pant

    3.      Strengthening Healthcare Delivery Systems in Low Income Countries

    Zerin Osho, Jagjeet Sareen

    4.      The Climate Change Policy Framework and Allied Programs in India

    Rameshwar Sorokhaibam, Shikha Vardhan, Aakash Srivastava



    5.      Disease Pandemics and the Threat of Microbial Emergence

    Lalit Kant, Gifty Immanuel, Jai Prakash Narain

    6.      Climate Change and Human Health: An Overview

    Poornima Prabhakaran

    7.      Air Pollution, Climate Change and the Health Sector: Linkages and Solutions

    H. Paramesh, D.J. Christopher, Jyothi S. Menon

    8.      Nourish or Perish: The Effect of Climate Change on Food, Nutrition and Health

    Manu Raj Mathur, Ameeka Shereen Lobo, Himanshi Pandey, Anjali Ganpule-Rao, K. Srinath Reddy

    9.      Gendered Vulnerabilities and Health Inequities

    Vanitha Kommu, Divya Alexander, Lakshmi Lingam

    10.  The Consequences of Climate Change on Vulnerable Populations

    Richa Sharma, R. Srikanth

    11.  The Status of Heat Health in India

    Priya Dutta, Mahaveer Golechha, Dileep Mavalankar



    12.  Climate-Smart Healthcare: What Does It Entail?

    Josh Karliner, Shriram Manogaran

    13.  Green and Resilient Health Infrastructure

    Yatin Choudhary, Hari Kumar

    14.  Sustainable Energy Management in the Health Sector

    Huda Jaffer, Harish Hande

    15.  Water Stress and the Effective Management of Water in Healthcare

    Shyamala Mani, Samayita Ghosh, R. Srinivasan

    16.  Sustainable Ways to Manage Waste in Healthcare Facilities

    Ananya Tewari, Shyamala Mani

    17.  Sustainable Transport Solutions in the Health Sector

    Shailendra P. Singh, Sundeep Singh Chauhan

    18.  Sustainable Procurement in Healthcare

    Susan Wilburn, Ishika Jharia, Poornima Prabhakaran



    19.  Environmental Sustainability in the Pharmaceuticals Industry

    Suman Sharma, Alba Tiley

    20.  Chemicals and Climate: Challenges for the Health Sector

    Tracey Easthope, Megha Rathi

    21.  The Paradox of Plastics in Healthcare and Health

    Swaminathan Sivaram, Aditi Roy, Swapan K. Ray


    Alexander Thomas, President of AHPI, President of the Association of National Board Accredited Institutions (ANBAI), and Founder-President (2012-2017) and Patron of the Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organizations (CAHO), has effected far-reaching policy changes within the healthcare landscape both at the national and the state level, pioneered many training initiatives, and received several awards for his contributions to the health sector. His recent publications include books on healthcare communication and healthcare quality, and white papers submitted to the Government of India.


    K. Srinath Reddy, a Padma Bhushan awardee, is the President of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), and formerly headed the Department of Cardiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. He holds advisory positions in numerous national and international bodies, including the position of former President of the World Heart Federation (2013-2015), and has been awarded several prestigious national and international doctorates and fellowships. His recent publications include Make Health in India: Reaching a Billion Plus (2019).


    Divya Alexander has over a decade of expertise in gender, health and public policy research, having drawn up policy recommendations and drafted healthcare legislation in India and abroad through her work with AHPI, UNFPA, and Amnesty International USA. She has co-edited two books and several papers on healthcare communication, adolescent health education, public policy and climate change. She read for her Master’s degree at the University of Oxford as a Commonwealth Scholar and is a gold medallist from Bangalore University (Mount Carmel College), India. 


    Poornima Prabhakaran is Additional Professor and Head of Environmental Health; Deputy Director at the Centre for Environmental Health, Public Health Foundation of India; and Senior Research Scientist at the Centre for Chronic Disease Control. She leads work engaging the Indian health sector on environmental issues, including a strong advocacy movement towards climate-resilient and sustainable healthcare systems in India. She is a member of technical expert groups providing the health perspective to various national programs related to climate change, air pollution and urban resilience.

    "Climate change has exacerbated, and will continue to exacerbate, diseases and ill health amongst all the people of the world – but particularly the poor and the vulnerable. The healthcare profession stands at the frontline of this escalating health impact, and this book, Climate Change and the Health Sector: Healing the World, applies the understandings and learnings from the fight against climate change to an array of healthcare priorities. This book is a call to action for all healthcare professionals. It sensitizes them to the exacerbating impacts of climate change on people’s health, and initiates their thinking on actions that can incorporate responses to these impacts in their own repertoire of approaches and tools to enhance human health. I commend AHPI for this great initiative, and in particular, congratulate Dr. Alex Thomas, Dr. Srinath Reddy, Ms. Divya Alexander and Dr. Poornima Prabhakaran for bringing together this volume."

    Ajay Mathur, Member, Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change, and Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi


    "I applaud the editors for this very important addition to the field of medical education. In this book, the health sector’s considerable impact on climate change is clearly and comprehensively described, along with ways to minimise that impact. I agree with the laudable premise that our sector should lead by example, and this book is an excellent place to begin. The communication book had a major impact on the medical fraternity; similarly, I hope this book paves the way for widespread awareness and policy development with regard to climate change." 

    Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health


    "It is now universally realised that the health sector is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gases leading to climate change. This carbon emission takes place during the process of care delivery, while procuring technologies, through the consumption of energy and transportation, and by the usage and disposal of products. Climate Change and the Health Sector: Healing the World teaches the custodians of health to start thinking differently to safeguard the planet with the goal of becoming carbon neutral. In order to generate awareness and to enable young minds to think about innovations to break free from this vicious cycle, NBE would definitely consider incorporating this need-of-the-hour topic in its medical curriculum. We praise the efforts by Dr. Alex Thomas, AHPI and PHFI to focus on this novel concept by publishing this book which will be hugely beneficial to the health sector in adopting positive changes to protect the climate and to effectively reduce its negative effects on individual health. We congratulate Dr. Alex Thomas and his team on the successful release of this book."

    Dr Abhijat Sheth, President, National Board of Examinations


    "The book titled Climate Change and the Health Sector: Healing the World addresses an important niche area. It enlightens the reader on the economic impact of climate change through its effects on health, especially the most vulnerable. It also enlightens the reader on the priorities spelt out by the Government in this regard. The editors, with years of experience, have contributed chapters and also compiled input from other experts in the field, bringing depth and insight to this book. It will be very useful to students of public health, policy makers and other stakeholders."

    Lt. Gen. Madhuri Kanitkar AVSM VSM, Deputy Chief, IDS (Medical)


    "Climate Change and the Health Sector: Healing the World carefully interlaces a wide range of topics around how climate change affects the healthcare ecosystem. It is firmly grounded in evidence, and the practical examples take it beyond mere theory. The contributions by a diverse group of experts have been moulded into a cohesive and illustrative reference book for the healthcare community. This book is a valuable resource that describes how to promote sustainable operations in healthcare, and will particularly benefit any healthcare facility beginning its journey towards healthcare quality."

    B. K. Rao, Chairman, National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities (NABH)


    "A remarkable feat reminding us how climate change is intrinsically linked to public health, and the profound responsibility that state and society have to improve the standard of health and living. The volume will interest and inspire readers across different sectors, waking them up to the urgency of the now." 

    Dr Uttam Kumar Sinha, Climate Change Expert, Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses


    "With straightforward chapters and illustrative case studies written by prominent experts in the field of climate change and healthcare, this volume is very apt for the healthcare industry and especially for healthcare students, all of whom can benefit greatly from learning about this topic. The subject of climate change is not yet a part of the undergraduate medical curriculum, and this book fills a very important gap in their knowledge base." 

    Dr M. K. Ramesh, President, Postgraduate Medical Education Board, National Medical Commission


    "Climate Change and the Health Sector: Healing the World is a comprehensive landmark resource book, with contributions from leading experts in climate change and public health. It examines the major contribution of the health sector towards the greenhouse gas emissions causing the climate crisis, as well as ways to mitigate the climate footprint in India. This book is compelling in its narrative and is a must-read for the multi-disciplinary health team."

    Maj. Gen. Elizabeth John (Retd.), Former Additional Director-General, Military Nursing Service (ADGMNS)