The Observatory of Climate and Health (Observatório de Clima e Saúde) has as its mission to gather and share information, technology, and knowledge that can help to develop networks of researchers and studies to assess the impact of environmental and climate changes on the health of the Brazilian population. We also offer contributions related to climate-health interactions to guide the implementation and planning of public policies in this area. The project aligns its attributions with the mission proposed by the Institute of Scientific and Technological Communication and Information in Health (Instituto de Comunicação e Informação Científica e Tecnológica em Saúde - Icict), as well as by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and the Brazilian Universal Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde - SUS).
Environmental, climate, socioeconomic, epidemiological, and public health data are fundamental to alert and monitor situations of health emergency brought about by a variety of climate events. It also allows keeping track of long-term tendencies in environmental and climate changes. Before the establishment of the Observatory, information was collected and shared by different institutions, in a dispersed manner, hindering comprehensive analyses. Hence, the project´s data platform started to act as a “mediator” by making a large set of data, studies, methodologies, and results available in one place, open access, and free of charge.
With the awareness of climate change and its effect on human health, the National Observatory of Climate and Health was established by the Institute of Scientific and Technological Communication and Information in Health (Instituto de Comunicação e Informação Científica e Tecnológica em Saúde - Icict), the National School of Public Health Sérgio Arouca (Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sérgio Arouca - Ensp), and the National Institute for Space Research (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais - Inpe) in order to gather different types of information and to facilitate analyses of the relationship between climate and health. The partnership with the Secretary of Health Surveillance (Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde – SVS) has been fundamental in our mission to provide this service to Brazilian citizens.
In addition to allowing integrated access to data, the Observatory conducts studies to identify climate patterns and their effects on health. In order to carry out these analyses, priority themes were grouped based on the health-environment composite:
The Observatory directs its efforts to three priority groups: researchers, who can now find, in a single place, a range of variables that before were spread in different databases; managers, who can access information to help in decision-making; and members of the civil society, who can, through the exchange of information, contribute to the sharing of knowledge about climatic phenomena and their effects on health.
We are an increasingly interactive space that encourages citizen participation through the sharing of potentially relevant information on climate and health. Give us suggestions and help us build an even better Observatory. Contact us!