In 2009 one of the world’s most respected medical journals, The Lancet, commenced publication of a series of articles on the health impacts of climate change (CC), concluding that climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, putting “the lives and well-being of billions of people at increased risk” (Costello et al., 2009).

Human health is determined by the interaction of social and environmental conditions (Figures 1 and 2). The models illustrate the pathways between climate change and adverse impacts on human health. Climate is amongst the myriad factors that influence the occurrence and range of human health determinants and outcomes.

RECOMMENDED CITATION van Hasselt, J. & Chapman, R. A. 2012, Health and climate change: key linkages in southern Africa. For the Regional Climate Change Programme for Southern Africa (RCCP), UK Department for International Development (DFID). Cape Town: OneWorld Sustainable Investments.

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