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Core Competencies for Health Workers to Deal with Climate and Environmental Change

Abstract: Rapid, detrimental climate change and environmental degradation pose real threats to the health, environment, social, economic and technological wellbeing of society (HESET). It has become even more imperative that the health workforce (public health and medical healthcare as well as auxiliary and support workers) be ‘climate-environment’ competent to fulfil their role in managing the environmental public health risks and impacts as climate and environment inevitably continue to change. We developed a broad six-domain competency framework consisting of (1) climate and environment sciences, (2) drivers of climate change (3) evidence, projections and assessments (4) iterative risk management (5) mitigation, adaptation and health co-benefits and (6) collective strategies—harnessing international/regional/local agreements and frameworks. The framework can be used by health/medical trainers to design cross-sectoral sub-competencies and learning content for training health workers to function at local, regional and global levels. Reaching, maintaining and improving the different levels of competency, the health workforce will be increasingly invaluable partners in intra- as well as inter-sectoral responses to climate and environmental risks and impacts.
Keywords: climate change / environmental change / core competencies / HESET / health workforce / environmental-public health

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