2nd Cohort of Certificate Course on ‘Climate Change and Public Health’ Launched at University of Dhaka

A pioneering three-month certificate course on ‘Climate Change and Public Health’ has been inaugurated through a collaborative effort between the Department of Disaster Science and Climate Resilience (DSCR) at the University of Dhaka and the Climate Change and Health Promotion Unit (CCHPU) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The course was officially launched on Saturday, June 8, 2024, at the M. A. Latif Auditorium of the Department of Geology, University of Dhaka. Professor Dr. A. S. M. Maksud Kamal, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dhaka and Course Advisor (CCPH) graced the occasion as the chief guest.

Prof. Dr Iqbal Kabir, Coordinator of CCHPU (MoHFW) and Course Director (CCPH), delivered the welcome address and presented an overview of the Certificate Course on Climate Change and Public Health. The event was presided over by Prof. Dr Md. Zillur Rahman, Chairman (DSCR), Dean of the Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Course Convenor (CCPH) at the University of Dhaka.

Distinguished speakers at the inauguration included Md. Mijanur Rahman, Director General (Additional Secretary) of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) under the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief; A K M Sohel, Additional Secretary, ERD, Ministry of Finance, Wing Chief, United Nations; Anwar Hossain Akand, BPAA. Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW); David Shimkus, Senior Director (Climate Change) at Pathfinder International; and Dr. Md. Shafiqul Islam, Health Advisor at FCDO, a United Kingdom-based organization. They shared their insights as special guests. 

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. A. S. M. Maksud Kamal emphasized the escalating frequency of natural disasters due to climate change and its projected increase in the future. He highlighted the rising incidence of various diseases, such as dengue and chikungunya, which pose a severe risk to human health. Professor Kamal stressed that climate change currently stands as the most significant threat to humanity. To effectively tackle the challenges posed by climate change, he called for enhanced cooperation and partnerships among stakeholders to facilitate research activities. He also urged developed countries, which bear responsibility for climate change, to acknowledge its detrimental effects and provide compensation to the affected nations.

The Vice-Chancellor expressed his optimism that the participants of this course, which addresses a matter of public importance, will acquire a thorough understanding of climate-resilient and secure health systems. He hoped that they would contribute effectively to the nation’s ongoing development by addressing the challenges presented by climate change.

The certificate course has drawn the participation of 40 individuals, including teachers, researchers, experts, and representatives from both public and private institutions. This diverse group of participants will engage in a comprehensive curriculum designed to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to address the intersection of climate change and public health.

The launch of this certificate course marks a significant step towards building capacity and fostering collaboration in the field of climate change and public health. It underscores the commitment of the University of Dhaka and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to address one of the most pressing challenges of our time.

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