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Health: Strategic Target

Before 2015, GEO aims to:

Substantially expand the availability, use, and application of environmental information for public health decision-making in areas of health that include allergens, toxins, infectious diseases, food-borne diseases, and chronic diseases, particularly with regard to the impact of climate and ecosystem changes.

This will be achieved through:

Working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the global community of human health and environment experts in order to develop and implement health-and-environment projects which will:

  • advance the application of observation, monitoring and forecasting systems to health decision-making processes;
  • foster the use of established and emerging observation systems in operational health-related applications for air and water quality, infectious diseases, and vector-borne diseases, and develop associated products such as forecasts and alerts compliant with the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP);
  • include efforts to examine terrestrial, freshwater, and marine (ocean) ecosystems and their services, to establish causality between changes in flora, fauna and other factors affecting the emergence and transmission of disease;
  • document links between water and communicable diseases, as part of the life cycle of vectors or as a medium infecting populations;
  • facilitate the integration of Earth science databases and emerging information products with public health data, socioeconomic data, and epidemiological information needed in decision support systems for health care planning and delivery.

development of a global network of scientists, researchers, practitioners and other operational end users which will:

  • provide free access to an expanded inventory of available Earth observation data, metadata and products applicable to public health;
  • provide input relating to the technical specification of new major environmental observation capabilities, including in-situ and remotely sensed observations that will allow historical data analysis and early detection of changes that influence health;
  • facilitate Earth observation training and capacity building for future scientists, researchers, public health policy makers and practitioners, and end users, including contributions of best practices in this domain to the GCI best practices registry.

This will be demonstrated by:

Access to improved environmental information and tools to support the global community of human health and environment experts.

Increased use of environmental information and tools to support decision making in epidemics and/or disease management and planning for well-being. The effectiveness of these tools is demonstrated in at least 3 specific areas on different continents.

Increased Applying outcomes from other Societal Benefit Areas to improve health and well-being.