Impacts of Climate Change on Healthcare in Africa

A recent analysis by the World Health Organization (WHO) has brought to light the concerning increase in climate-related health emergencies across Africa over the last two decades. Findings indicate that more than half of the public health events recorded in the region between 2001 and 2021 were directly linked to climate change. A total of 2,121 climate-related events have been documented over the 20-year period, indicating longstanding challenges to health systems in the region. Furthermore, the analysis shows a 25% increase in such events in the past decade, highlighting the growing impact of climate change on public health in Africa.

How are African countries and organizations responding to the rise of climate-related health emergencies? How can global efforts to address climate change mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on public health in Africa? This panel focuses on the negative impacts of climate change on Africa’s healthcare systems and some of the practical steps to address these effects.

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Patricia Dwyer

Founder and Director, The Purpose Business (Moderator)

Pat is an internationally respected sustainability expert. She is passionate about sharing her 20+ years of experience and leadership to help businesses in Asia activate purpose, manage ESG impacts and grow responsibly to future-proof their businesses. She has guest lectured-and continues to speak and moderate-across global platforms including The Obama Foundation, The World Economic Forum, The University of Cambridge, The Climate Competent Boards Certificate Program, and the Thomas Reuters Foundation, sharing her insights in sustainability, purpose, leadership, and governance. Before founding TPB in 2015, Pat led teams at the Shangri-La Hotels and Ayala Land, setting standards in corporate sustainability with firsts, such as a shark fin's ban, DJSI listing, impact measurements, and LEED developments.

Emma Andrews

Emma Andrews

Pharm.D., Vice President, Global Patient Advocacy, Pfizer

Emma Andrews, Pharm.D. is Pfizer’s Vice President, Global Patient Advocacy, leading the organization’s work to embed the patient perspective across all Pfizer’s efforts – from bench to bedside, and beyond. A registered pharmacist, Emma is passionate about helping people live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. In her current role, Emma works with internal and external stakeholders to advance patient-focused programs across the enterprise. Emma joined Pfizer in 1999 and has held a variety of positions in Operations, Research and Strategy.  Prior to her current role,  Emma was Senior Director US/Global Medical Affairs Team Lead for the Women’s Health Franchise.

Oyetola Oduyemi

Senior Director, Investor Relations & Sustainability, The END Fund

Oyetola is responsible for driving sustainable solutions to health and related developmental challenges, through private, philanthropic, and public sector engagement, advocacy, public policy influencing, and partnerships in countries across Africa, at the END Fund. Prior to joining the international development sector, she worked in various industries including financial services, energy, and telecommunications; and handled regional roles covering different markets. She is a business sustainability leader, and sustainable development expert. She holds some trustee/advisory board roles, focused on business sustainability through the specific lens of public affairs, corporate governance, and business purpose.

Helen Meldrum

Helen Meldrum

North America Science Hub Head

Helen Meldrum, PhD has over 20 years in Consumer Healthcare industry and has a passion for translating science & technology into consumer relevant products. She is currently Head of Science Hub North America at Sanofi CHC. Helen previously worked at GSK Consumer Healthcare in Skin & Respiratory Health and before that in Unilever within Personal Care & Health Categories. Helen has a PhD in Molecular & Cellular Biology from University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom in the area of heart disease


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