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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-45

Assessment of awareness regarding climate change and its health hazards among the medical students

Department of Community Medicine, Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College, Narhe, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Harshal T Pandve
Department of Community Medicine, Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College, Narhe, Pune - 411 041, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: ICMR-STS-2011, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.82999

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Background : Climate change has emerged as one of the most devastating environmental threat and there is overwhelming evidence of wide range of implications for human health. To mitigate this, well-prepared medical man power is required. Objectives : The objectives of this study were (1) to assess the awareness regarding climate change and its health hazards among the medical students and (2) to recommend the awareness campaigns regarding climate change and its health hazards for students based on the results. Settings and Design: This observational study was conducted at the Medical College in Pune city. Materials and Methods: Medical students from all years of M.B.B.S. (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) who had given the written consent were included in this study. A self-administered, pre-tested, questionnaire was used. Responses were evaluated. Statistical Analysis Used: Proportions, percentage, and Chi-square test. Results: A total of 250 medical students were included in this study. In all, 246 (98.40%) students commented that global climate is changing, while 245 (98%) students opined that human activities are contributing to climate change. The commonest source of information about climate change was newspaper and magazines (78.20%). Majority commented that deforestation and industrial and vehicular pollution contribute most to climate change. According to 47.50% of the students, health-related issues are priority for climate change prevention strategy. According to 65.10% students, direct physical hazards of extreme climatic events are most important health-related impact of climate change, followed by natural disaster-related health hazards (43.50%), waterborne diseases (27.60%), vector-borne diseases (17.60%), and malnutrition (10%). There was statistically significant difference found between year of MBBS of the students and the awareness regarding United Nations Federation on Climate Change, Kyoto protocol (χ2 = 7.85, P = 0.02), and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (χ2 = 12.77, P = 0.002). A significant difference was found between the awareness about health impact of climate change at different places (χ2 = 11.25, P = 0.001). Conclusion: Students had awareness regarding health hazards of the climate change, but improvement for mitigation is required. It is suggested that a large nation-wide awareness survey regarding climate change and its health hazards is necessary to determine the preparedness of medical students and also to suggest any changes in the current curriculum.


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