New Delhi: While climate change is affecting people in every part of the world, it is having the greatest impact on the health of people living in the Hindu Kush and Himalayan region. The change in temperature has increased the problems of the people living in the mountain. They are facing many diseases which were earlier not found in the mountains. This has been revealed in a study published in a research paper in Switzerland.

Ramesh C. Dhiman, a scientist at ICMR’s National Institute of Malaria Research, involved in the research, said that mosquitoes breed faster in warmer climates and have a faster life cycle. They are soon born into adult mosquitoes and soon die. On the other hand, when it gets cold, their life cycle slows down. The temperature in the mountains has increased in the last few years. There is a difference of two to three degrees in temperature at different times of the year.

In the last few years, it has been seen that malaria patients have started coming from those parts of Uttarakhand where there was no malaria earlier. Dengue cases have been reported in some parts of Himachal Pradesh. Earlier people did not get dengue here. This is the effect of climate change. If left unchecked, the biggest impact of climate change will be on the health of people living in the Himalayan mountains.

To understand the effects of climate change, scientists from Nepal, Australia, India, Pakistan, Germany and Belgium simultaneously studied different parts of the Hindu Kush Himalayas. The Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region is a vast expanse, covering 18% of the world’s mountainous terrain. Covering an area of ​​4.3 million km, the region passes through eight countries: Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar and Pakistan. A Hindu study has found that the Kush Himalayan region is warming faster than the global average.

The rainfall and intensity have also increased significantly during the last 6 decades with some extreme events. Temperature and heavy rainfall have affected climate-dependent aspects such as agriculture, biodiversity and human health. The study found that the incidence of infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and malnutrition has increased in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region due to climate change. In such a situation, immediate steps are needed to stop climate change in the region.

It is believed that due to climate change in the 21st century, people around the world will have to face many types of health problems. The Hindu Kush Himalaya is the largest mountain system in the world and consists of 10 major river valleys. It is home to about two million people. The region is very vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Temperatures in the region (estimated using baseline data spanning 25 years since 2006) are close to 0.06 °C per year. This is higher than the global average warming rate.

Rising temperatures due to climate change are contributing to the spread of infectious diseases. Over the past four decades, joint global efforts have reduced the incidence of malaria worldwide, but increased the number of deaths from other vector-borne diseases, particularly dengue. Recently, the Lancet Commission on Climate Change and Health 2019 revealed that there has been an increase in mosquito-borne diseases (Malaria and Dengue) in recent years. Studies suggest that high mountains in South Asia have contributed to the rapid spread of infectious diseases due to high rainfall and rising temperatures.

The excessive rains have helped to breed mosquitoes in these mountainous areas. Plus, rising temperatures speed up their life cycle. Environmental factors such as uneven temperature rise in high mountains, less snowfall, extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall, increased agricultural and agricultural activities in mountain slopes, and increased access and mobility of people in the HKH area have increased the HKH area significantly. . Therefore, these changes in the HKH region over the past few decades have increased the risk of transmission of infectious diseases.

In Nepal, there has been a rapid increase in mosquito-borne diseases in non-epidemic areas of the highlands. So climate change is being blamed. At the same time, the increasing cases of chikungunya and dengue in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region in the last few decades are also believed to be the effects of climate change. Cases of Japanese encephalitis have also increased rapidly in the higher reaches of the Himalayas, which were previously confined to the lower southern plains. They have also been linked to climate change.