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TALK: Climate change effects on public health by Swiss scholar Prof. Marcel Tanner

Jan. 19, 2024 9:00
TALK:  Climate change effects on public health by Swiss scholar Prof. Marcel Tanner
Credit: Ifakara Communications Unit

Renowned Swiss medical biologist, Professor Marcel Tanner, delivered a lecture titled "Effects of Climate Change on Public Health" from Ifakara Health Institute’s multi-media studio in Bagamoyo, Tanzania on Monday, January 22, 2024, at 11 am EAT.

A rare and valuable opportunity to virtually connect with Prof. Marcel, the lecture is part of occasional scholarly engagements organized by the Communications team at Ifakara Health Institute under the “IFAKARA Talk Program.” Under this program, renowned scholars are given the opportunity to share and discuss matters of global interest.

The talk was hosted by Ifakara scientists Prisca Kweyamba and Swai Kyeba. The two joined the Communications team at Ifakara to guide Prof. Marcel through and take questions from the audience expected to join virtually.

A world-renowned scholar

Professor Marcel Tanner, a distinguished scholar, served as the Director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) from 1997 to 2015. Following this, he assumed the position of Chair of Epidemiology and Medical Parasitology at the University of Basel. Since 2016, he has held the position of President of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT).

With a wealth of experience, Prof. Marcel has authored over 600 original papers, gaining global recognition for his expertise in infectious diseases research and control. His contributions extend beyond research, as evidenced by his efforts in capacity building and establishing north-south partnerships, notably the development of the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania from 1981-1985.

Prof. Marcel holds a PhD in Medical Biology from the University of Basel and an MPH from the University of London. Currently, he chairs organizations such as the INDEPTH Network, Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), INCLEN Trust, and co-chairs the Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+).

About our hosts 

For the second consecutive occasion, Ifakara scientist, Prisca Kweyamba, assumed the role of host for the talk. Joining her for the first time was another scientist at Ifakara, Swai Kyeba. Both are stationed in Bagamoyo.

Prisca, a molecular biologist, brings to the discussion her expertise in drug discovery, particularly focusing on combating major tropical infectious diseases such as malaria. On the other hand, Kyeba, a medical entomologist with specialized training in epidemiology, is dedicated to the control of malaria and the management of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes in Tanzania.

Climate change and public health 

This year's focus was on "climate change," which refers to the long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. The World Health Organization notes adverse effects on health due to extreme weather events, disrupting food systems and impacting social determinants of health such as livelihoods and equality.

The health risks disproportionately affect vulnerable groups, including women, children, ethnic minorities, impoverished communities, migrants, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health conditions.

Read more about this here

The last talk in 2022

The last time Prof. Marcel delivered an IFAKARA Talk was in 2022. He discussed, "Decolonizing Health Research: Perspective of Low-Income Countries." Hosted by Ifakara scientists Prisca Kweyamba and Neema Balige, the discussion emphasized the necessity of cultural change and mutual learning in health research, addressing the historical impact of colonial powers on education and health concepts in Africa.

Professor Marcel stressed the importance of respecting diversity and adapting approaches to local contexts for a more equitable global health research landscape.

Where and how to join

The talk was streamed live from our studio in Bagamoyo via the Zoom Platform and X Spaces. 


Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/99774647080?pwd=N21pTXRKc3pCUzhPbC90SXAzWmNyZz09

Passcode: 081800

Participants were encouraged to join and engage in discussions by sending questions and comments via the comments or message section on either platform.