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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 317-320
Protecting health from climate change: Preparedness of medical interns


Department of Community Medicine, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, Mangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Jai Pal Majra
Department of Community Medicine, K.S.Hegde Medical Academy, Deralakatte, Mangalore, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.58390

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Context : Climate change is a significant and emerging threat to public health and to meet the challenge, health systems require qualified staff. Aims : To study the preparedness of medical interns to meet the challenge of protecting health from climate change. Settings and Design: Medical colleges in a coastal town. Cross-sectional study. Materials and Methods: A proportionate number of medical interns from five medical colleges were included in the study. Level of awareness was used as a criterion to judge the preparedness. A self-administered, pretested, open-ended questionnaire was used. Responses were evaluated and graded. Statistical Analysis Used: Proportions, percentage, Chi-test. Results : About 90% of the medical interns were aware of the climate change and human activities that were playing a major role. Ninety-four percent were aware of the direct health impacts due to higher temperature and depletion in ozone concentration, and about 78% of the respondents were aware about the change in frequency / distribution of vector-borne diseases, water borne / related diseases, malnutrition, and health impact of population displacement. Knowledge regarding health protection was limited to mitigation of climate change and training / education. Options like adaptation, establishing / strengthening climate and disease surveillance systems, and health action in emergency were known to only nine (7%), eight (6%), and 17 (13%), respectively. Collegewise difference was statistically insignificant. Extra / co-curricular activities were the major source of knowledge. Conclusions : Majority of medical interns were aware of the causes and health impacts of climate change, but their knowledge regarding health protection measures was limited.


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