Competition: Essay on climate change and health

Update: Please go here to submit your essays.

From Let Me Know:

The Global Forum for Health Research and The Lancet are holding their third joint essay competition for the under-30s on the theme- “Climate change and health: research challenges for the health of vulnerable populations”.

Details after the jump.

Rules and Guidelines:

  1. Each author may submit one essay only.
  2. Essays may be submitted in English or French and should be 1500 words maximum.
  3. Essays must be based on the author’s own ideas and not be derived from another source.
  4. Essays must not have been previously published.
  5. Entries are individual (i.e., the work of a single author).
  6. They should include original, even provocative ideas and not be technical or academic texts: tables, charts and figures are probably not necessary; references should be limited.
  7. Authors are free to be idealistic, passionate, to take established practices to task, albeit in a constructive fashion.
  8. Within the context of research for health, the theme allows authors to include any aspect that interests them particularly – for example, extreme weather, natural disasters, fuels and energy, transport, water management, vectors, food production, demographics, urban planning, security.

Deadline for submission for entries: April 30, 2008
Announcement of Shortlists: End of June 2008
Notification of Winners: August 2008


2 Responses

  1. It was a hot summer day and I was out working in the fields beneath the rays of the sun above. I was excited because I would be able to tan and look something wonderful for when I went swimming. The problem was this: I forgot to put on sunscreen. In fact, I did not only forget but by the end of the day didn’t really care because I knew that I would be able to start to see my tan the next day. The next day however, I woke with pain all up and down my arms. This is not what I wanted. I peeled up the sleeve of my arm and began scratching my forearms where they itched. I felt wetness spreading beneath my fingers and looked down to behold so many tiny and large blisters. I realized that this was not good and knew that I had made a poor decision the day before in not putting on sunscreen. It was due to the extreme weather that day that I was burdened with a blistering sunburn that would take a much longer time to heal.
    The weather that is around us does seem to have some type of cause on the population. Some are not nearly affected like others would be, but then there are those that are severely stricken. The health of an individual due to extreme weather may bring about causes that no one would want to even consider going through.
    Now, some are brutally burdened with the gene of being burned by the sun more easily. In my example above, I was lucky to not have had more severe skin burning that what I did. This is not to say that I wouldn’t have skin cancer latter on in life. Some are just more prone to burning than others and this is because of the rays of the sun that are so hot that they can cause burns to be classified as third degree burns. The increase for these extreme temperatures are expected to increase just like in California the temperature is to increase by four to eight percent and Chicago is said to increase by twenty-five percent. The heated temperatures do continually seem to be only getting hotter and this means that those with heart problems, asthma, very young and homeless people, and the elderly will be especially vulnerable to extreme heat.
    Then there would be the risk of diseases because of the warm weather. Mosquitoes especially but then also other insects. Mosquitoes and these other insects would cause malaria to be more common, dengue fever, and yellow fever. There would also be the increase of cholera because of polluted water due to the growth of algae blooms that are infected by the extreme heat. These increases in heat would only be progressing and causing more diseases that would not only stun the populations of people but possibly be creating new diseases that would be hard to find a cure for.
    Extreme weather, more particularly, extreme heat is not a joke. Things that are caused due to the heat are not fun to endure, weather you are suffering a sunburn or all the way to a disease that could have no cure. We should be wary of the heat and take every precaution to keep ourselves safe and protected from the sun and that extreme weather that does have an affect on the people within which are exposed to it.

  2. Tori,

    Thanks for your essay. Unfortunately we are not the ones actually holding the competition, and I apologize that the post did not make that clear. If you would like to participate in the essay competition, please go to and submit this essay there.

    Best of luck,


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