The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the appointment of Dr Vanessa Kerry as the first-ever Director-General Special Envoy for Climate Change and Health, the website of WHO reported on Thursday.
Dr Kerry, a renowned global health expert and medical doctor and CEO of Seed Global Health, will play a pivotal role in amplifying WHO’s climate and health messaging and undertake high-level advocacy, according to a statement by the organization.
Climate change is emerging as the greatest health challenge of the 21st century, impacting various aspects of human well-being, the statement read.
Extreme weather events, noncommunicable and infectious diseases, as well as health infrastructure and workforce capacity, are all being significantly affected, it said.
Dr Kerry will bring her invaluable expertise and leadership to the forefront in supporting WHO, it added.
According to the statement, this is a crucial year for the intersection of climate change and health, with the COP28 Presidency announcing the first-ever day dedicated to health at the summit on 3 December 2023.
This will serve as a critical opportunity to emphasize the profound significance of addressing climate change in relation to human health, WHO said.
Recognizing health at the forefront of climate discussions reinforces the vital role of collaboration and coordinated efforts to safeguard the well-being of current and future generations, it added.