Support WHO guidance on heat waves and health

UNEP DTU is currently supporting the WHO Regional Office for Europe (EURO) in its efforts to update their 2008 guidance for preventing health impacts from heat. Towards this end, UNEP DTU will help organize the updating and compilation of the evidence base supporting health protection during heat waves currently and, crucially, under likely climate change scenarios.

Some of the key questions addressed in this collaboration are:

  • How effective is existing prevention at reducing heat-related mortality and illnesses?
  • How is climate change likely to affect health effects of heat, and what does that mean for prevention?
  • To what extent and how quickly do populations acclimatize to higher temperatures?
  • How much can urban management interventions reduce dangerous exposures to heat?

Aim of project

The project aims at improving current public health responses against heat waves and better planning, including the mainstreaming of health considerations in heat-relevant urban planning.

Project impacts 

The WHO Heat-Health Action Plans (HHAP) guidance has been used since 2008 as an authoritative template by several countries when designing and implementing their own systems to deal with heat waves. The updated guidance will include the best updated evidence that can help calibrate responses, and ultimately afford better protection to communities against high temperatures.

UNEP DTU is implementing this project in partnership with WHO Regional Office for Europe (EURO), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Spain), and Universität Düsseldorf (Germany) in 2018 / 2019.

The collaboration and evidence update focuses mainly on the the WHO European Region (53 countries, including EU28), but its implications for prevention are global in nature.

Click to access the previous (current) version of the WHO HHAP guidance 

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Focus area: Climate Planning and Policy, Strengthening climate change research and collaboration

Country / Region: Global

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