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Children of an Uncertain Climate

Future Health Systems

Child health is extremely vulnerable in the Indian Sundarbans region due to its problems of geographical inaccessibility and economic vulnerability. Climate change is an extra burden to the already existing vulnerabilities. It is evident that the routine services provided by the existing health care facilities are not only inadequate to reach out to every corner of the hard-to-reach pockets with an affordable solution but also need transformative approaches to meet the changing needs and demands for health care amidst climate change impacts on the health of the islanders.

To address the problems, it is necessary to devise a separate long-term innovative plan for the health system to be climate resilient and provide basic health care services more effectively and equitably even to the climatically most vulnerable islands of the Sundarbans.

The FHS-India team has been engaged in research on the human health status in the Indian Sundarbans since 2009 and came up with a comprehensive report in 2010. A more in-depth report on the health of children of the Indian Sundarbans was published in 2013 in the name of Sundarbans Health Watch. In this present endeavor we have reflected on the pathways of climate change impacts on the health of the Sundarbans’ children. This report is based on a mixed method study conducted in Sagar, one of the six most vulnerable blocks out of the nineteen administrative blocks of the Sundarbans. This study has made an attempt to find out the present condition of different aspects of child health under climate crisis, to identify the gaps in service delivery and possible ways out on the basis of scientific evidence.