For years, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been observing the impacts of climate change on the people we treat and on our medical humanitarian activities. As we respond to many of the world’s most urgent crises—conflicts, disasters, disease, displacement—we are witnessing the consequences and magnified impacts that climate change can have on extremely vulnerable people.
In Niger, changing rain patterns are impacting food production and the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria. “The rains are becoming very scarce and are unevenly distributed,” said MSF health promotion supervisor Salissou Abdel Aziz. “Before, we used to grow for one year … now it is only for six months.” The deadly combination of malaria and malnutrition takes a heavy toll on children under five. MSF is adapting its response by developing preventive approaches closer to communities such as treating water points and training community workers to detect and treat malaria and malnutrition early.