Health problems and climate change in Russia | Global Ideas



here in the tundra of Russia's remote northern regions it takes a lot of time to get anywhere dr. Leah needs Zubov has been coming here for years providing medical care for than units and nomadic people who live from reindeer farming each herd is made up of around 200 reindeer attended by just a handful of men today dr. su bhav is visiting a group of breeders led by Yvonne of TC he's particularly interested in whether they've noticed climate change and if it's affecting their health we talk about individual personal illnesses but they aren't aware of any global changes affecting their health they say they often have headaches or high blood pressure but that does not have to be related to the climate the neon yet don't tend to worry about the health too much anyway dr. soo bahk often meets children like little Yeager he's lived with his parents in the tundra for four years the only time he was seen by a doctor was shortly after his birth everything's fine I have a daughter too she's 14 and she's never been sick we can't complain but life as a reindeer breeder is far from easy often they suffer from pains in their joints spending so much time outdoors and the long journeys by sledge inevitably take their toll then there's the weather which is always extreme here in this subarctic region the effects of any climate change can be measured only over a long period of time we would need to be able to compare nowadays with a particular point in the past those kinds of studies have never been carried out here so it's difficult to say how the climate here does affect people's health but there's one thing than the N yets have noticed the summers are getting longer the ice in the region's many lakes and rivers now starts melting earlier that means the reindeer breeders have to move with their herds earlier in the year to their summer pastures further north Leonid Zubov has noticed this trend over the past ten years the nomads are having to stay in their summer pastures for longer going earlier and coming back later that means the reindeer breeders are cut off from medical care for up to two months longer life here is very strenuous I wasn't here doing my job I described my visit here as a kind of extreme medical tourism but obviously the importance of providing medical care here also motivates me as a doctor dr. Eskew if temperatures continue to rise here then help for the Nets will have to be much better organized the doctors also concerned that the nomads traditional sources of food might also be affected at some stage the longer the summer the greater the four and that would mean large areas of land here could be flooded that would increase the likelihood of new diseases being transferred from the reindeer or the geese to the local population but so far all appears to be well everything with the geese is okay the first ones arrive in early May like they've already done just before in late April the Swans come you ain't nothing's changed so far you gotta let God says there have been fewer geese than usual this summer but that's happened before sometimes and then last winter was particularly cold here he says with temperatures of minus 40 degrees Celsius Leonid Zubov is surprised by what he hears the moog is meaning lots of things have changed in the cities over the last few decades most modern civilization brings many advantages and in particular improved medical treatment with the nomadic peoples it's completely different I think we thought we'd be able to see the effects of climate change here much more clearly and exactly because there been almost no changes otherwise we accompany dr. sue buff on a visit to Yeager let coughs family here he's once again the doctor and no longer the climate scientist conducting research little Stefan has a rash that developed soon after he was born his mother hasn't been able to get him to a doctor for over a year we buy medication before we head out something for headaches sore throat coughs and tummy ache I now know roughly what we need dr. su buff can't provide any immediate help he assumes it's some kind of allergy and plans to seek help from a specialist the skin allergy like this child has can quickly develop into a bacterial infection it can get so bad that the child would have to undergo surgery and we have to avoid that at all costs this I really do it Thank You lab chicken dr. su bob says catching things early before they become serious is decisive here in this remote region because getting any kind of help takes a long time good planning and organization are likely to become increasingly important for the NIA nets if the summers continue to get longer and hotter the reindeer breeders will be cut off for longer periods from the outside world

1 Comment

  1. Omg he looks so much like einstein

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