My week in Nigeria and Niger left me more convinced than ever that, with support, young people can develop innovative solutions to transform Africa’s future.
It’s mind-blowing how much health has improved for the world’s poorest people over the past two decades. Malaria deaths, for example, have dropped by more than a third. Eradicating the disease has become a realistic goal.
Unfortunately, climate change threatens to slow or even reverse this progress. As temperatures go up and extreme weather events become more common, it will get harder to do things like provide bed nets, get rid of malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and offer basic health care in the world’s most vulnerable communities.
I’m optimistic that the world can avoid a climate disaster. But that effort can’t come at the expense of continuing progress on health care including malaria efforts.
If we fight only climate change and stop working on health, then we might reduce carbon emissions but allow malaria to make a comeback. Eradication would become even harder. No one will be better off in a world with fewer carbon emissions but more illness and death.
In this video, I talk more about the connection between climate change and malaria and explain why I’m optimistic that we can solve both problems.