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We are now living in a time where climate change is no longer just about the polar bears and melting ice in the arctic region. 

Based on the study titled “How will climate change affect the health of Filipinos in the next decade?” conducted by Pru Life UK, they found that as climate change continues to worsen across the globe, Filipinos are placed in greater danger with harsher weather conditions that can lead to the spread of climate-sensitive diseases such as heat-related illnesses like heat cramps and heat stroke, and vector-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria, as well as infectious diseases with pandemic potential such as COVID-19 and recently, monkeypox.

“As climate change worsens, the health of populations will be in greater danger. Climate change affects health both directly, for instance, among elderly who experience heat stroke due to exposure to extreme heat, or indirectly, when climate change alters the environmental conditions for mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and malaria,” the study says. “In fact, there is no disease group that is immune to the effects of climate change.”

Here are some of the disease expected to increase because of climate change:

  • Injuries and death due to more intense typhoons and flooding
  • Heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke
  • Vector-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria
  • Soil-borne diseases such as hookworm, roundworm, and schistosomiasis
  • Water-borne diseases (such as leptospirosis) due to exposure to contaminated water
  • Food-borne diseases due to contaminated food and rapid spoilage
  • Emerging infectious diseases with pandemic potential such as COVID-19
  • Cardiorespiratory diseases due to air and other forms of pollution produced by fossil fuels –the same culprits of the climate crisis
  • Water pollution (such as salinization of water) due to sea level rise in coastal areas
  • Forced displacement of communities due to typhoons, storm surges, and coastal flooding
  • The co-occurrence of undernutrition and obesity resulting from climate-unfriendly food systems 
  • Mental health conditions emanating from both abrupt disasters and slow-onset environmental change

“Our goal as the leading life insurance company is to raise awareness on the importance of insurance protection against climate health risks so more Filipinos are educated on the effects of climate change on their health and finances,” says Pru Life UK president and chief executive officer Eng Teng Wong. “We are also working together with different sectors to mitigate climate health risks by creating budget-friendly climate-smart insurance products accessible to the unserved and underserved communities.” 

To encourage Filipinos in protecting themselves against climate change, Pru Life UK remains steadfast in pushing for easily accessible and affordable climate-smart products such as the PRUMedCare Select Infectious Disease and two options of PRUDengue MedCare, with premiums ranging from P175 to P750 for six or 12 months of coverage, with the common goal of providing protection against dengue, typhoid, measles, and malaria.

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