Ministry health

Health Ministry DG says Israel unprepared for climate emergency

Health Ministry Director General Professor Nachman Ash warned on Monday that Israel was unprepared to deal with future climate emergencies.

“We are still studying the subject and trying to assess the significance of global warming, even in the context of the climate emergencies that we see in Europe and in general,” Ash said at a conference on health care, making reference to a scorching heat wave that swept across the old continent accompanied by devastating forest fires.

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ועידת הבריאות של קבוצת "ידיעות אחרונות"

Director General of the Ministry of Health, Professor Nachman Ash

(Photo: Yariv Katz)

“It’s true that we are used to living in a warmer climate compared to Europe, but we have to be prepared for a scenario of a sharp rise in temperatures which will hurt people.

It is part of the overall preparation for various emergency situations – pandemics, global warming, earthquakes. The healthcare system must be able to handle such scenarios.”

Professor Ash also said Israel’s health system was due to receive its first batches of monkeypox vaccine – a total of 5,000 units – on Tuesday afternoon, just days after the World Health Organization issued a statement. declared the disease a global health emergency.

“For two months we have been managing this disease, which is new in our regions and especially at this point.

“We had to build our own capabilities. We initially relied on centralized capabilities, including testing capabilities, and decisions were made in a top-down approach,” he said.

“In recent weeks, due to the increase in the number of infections, we have decided to spread it out. There is a shortage of vaccines in the world and there has been a great effort to fly in the quantity that we could.”

Professor Ash said the department was trying to avoid stigmatizing certain groups that are particularly vulnerable to the disease, namely sexually active gay men.

“We wanted to handle it sensitively. It’s not a concern, you can’t stigmatize these things. The discourse within the community has been instructive because in many cases there has been contact,” did he declare.

I think it’s been well managed and I don’t think there’s a problem with raising awareness among those who are at risk of contracting the disease. They know what to do and how to be careful, and in my opinion, they will also come to get vaccinated. The sensitive approach worked.”