Climate Change and Primary Health Care in the African Context: A Scoping Review

Climate change has increased the probability of environmental hazards, such as extreme weather conditions, major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse. These environmental hazards can impact human health, and the impact will be the greatest where populations are more vulnerable. African populations, in low- and middle-income countries, have contributed the least to climate change when compared to high-income countries. Nevertheless, they are expected to be more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than populations in high income countries.

Primary health care is the most accessible part of the health system and needs to be responsive to changes in the burden of disease because of climate change, for example, as a result of changing patterns of infectious diseases or displacement of populations. Primary health care must also be resilient so that health services remain available even in the face of disasters and crises caused by climate change. Primary health care should also be organized in a way that does not contribute to climate change as the health industry is known to have a substantial environmental footprint.

The current scoping review will determine the extent of the literature available on climate change and primary health care in the African context. The scoping review will identify knowledge gaps and future research questions that can be addressed by the International Thematic Network on Climate Change, Migration and Health(care).



Stellenboch University