More

    Dangers Pakistani Pregnant Women Face in Extreme Summer Heat

    EnvironmentClimate changeDangers Pakistani Pregnant Women Face in Extreme Summer Heat
    - Advertisment -

    Dangers Pakistani Pregnant Women Face in Extreme Summer Heat

    Rising summer temperatures are exacerbating existing inequities in maternal and newborn health in Pakistan. Sexual and reproductive health and rights are central to climate action.

    Erika Nguyen

    A new video shows how rising temperatures are increasing health pressures on pregnant women, new mothers, and their families in Sindh and Punjab provinces in Pakistan. Rising heat is also exacerbating existing inequities in maternal and newborn health.

    Based on accounts from pregnant women and new mothers, the video, by the Research and Development Forum for Safe Motherhood Pakistan and the White Ribbon Alliance, provides a critical glimpse into one piece of the climate crisis’s impact on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Studies, including those cited in the most recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, show that pregnant people are at high risk of heat-related illness. Exposure to high temperatures is linked to stillbirth, premature birth, and low birth rates, all of which are associated with infant mortality.

    - Advertisement -

    The IPCC report also noted other, often compounding, climate impacts that negatively affect pregnancy and newborn health, including loss of food and water sources, poor water quality, increased exposure to vector-borne diseases, and loss of access to prenatal and other care following extreme weather events.

    Summer of poverty

    Extreme heat is experienced unevenly. Women in the video note how they have limited access to electricity due to outages and high electricity bills, compounding the challenges of coping with extreme heat. One says: “Rich people can afford solar panels but what can poor people like us do?”

    These women regularly experience extreme heat. Jacobobad, in Sindh province, is among the hottest cities in the world, regularly surpassing 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer.

    Extreme heat is set to increase due to human-caused climate change, and the impacts will be felt most acutely by certain populations. Alongside pregnant people, these include older people, people with disabilities, babies and children, outdoor workers, and people living in social isolation or poverty.

    The United Nations’ annual “Commission on the Status of Women” meeting wraps up this week. The theme this year is “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.” Governments should commit to recognizing that protecting sexual and reproductive health and rights, especially in the face of extreme heat and other climate impacts, is central to protecting human health and women’s rights.

     

     

    Erika Nguyen is Senior Coordinator, Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch.

     

    Image: Screengrab from video produced by the White Ribbon Alliance

    - Advertisement -

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Latest news

    NDDB to Execute Upgradation of Biocontainment Facility

    NDDB has executed projects of several bio-containment labs and associated infrastructure in livestock health sector across the country in...

    UN’s Development Goals: Rich Nations Lead While World’s Poor Lag Far Behind

    According to the ninth edition of the Sustainable Development Report released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, none...

    UNICEF-Backed Report Says Pollution Killed 1.69 Lakh Children in India in 2021

    The State of Global Air report published in partnership with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns on Wednesday that...

    A New Way to Spot Life-threatening Infections in Cancer Patients

    Leuko, founded by a research team at MIT, is giving doctors a noninvasive way to monitor cancer patients’ health...
    - Advertisement -

    Water Shortages Feared as Hindu Kush Himalaya Sees Second-Lowest Snow Persistence on Record

    In the Ganges River Basin, there has been significant fluctuations in the past twenty-two years. Prior to 2024, the...

    PM Releases Seventeenth PM-KISAN Instalment of Rs. 20,000 Crores

    The prime minister lauded the use of technology in taking the benefits to the deserved beneficiaries and also credited...

    Must read

    NDDB to Execute Upgradation of Biocontainment Facility

    NDDB has executed projects of several bio-containment labs and...

    UN’s Development Goals: Rich Nations Lead While World’s Poor Lag Far Behind

    According to the ninth edition of the Sustainable Development...
    - Advertisement -

    More from the sectionRELATED
    Recommended to you