Climate change affects social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter. High air temperatures contribute directly to deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease, particularly among elderly people. In the heat wave of summer 2003 in Europe for example, more than 70 000 excess deaths were recorded.
The health community has a critical role in the response to climate change including the preventive and curative functions. Within the comprehensive approach, a consensus is beginning to emerge on the health-systems functions that should be strengthened in order to increase resilience and adapt to a changing climate. The following courses propose a draft framework to organize these functions, taking as a reference point the generally recognized building blocks of health systems and elaborating the functions that addressing climate risks.