COVID-19, Climate Change, and Public Health in India and South Asia
This panel will address the health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change in India and South Asia, with a focus on risks to children. Panelists will describe the harmful impact of lockdowns on day laborers and migrant workers regarding chronic disease care and food insufficiency, and connections between air pollution, respiratory health, and climate change.
Dr. Ann Behrmann is a Madison pediatrician who worked for more than three decades with Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin. Her interest in international child health began with a month-long rotation in her second year of a UW pediatric residency working on the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua. She has worked over the years on abolition of nuclear weapons, violence prevention and environmental health issues with Physicians for Social Responsibility Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Environmental Health Network.
After a year’s sabbatical in north India at the Tibetan Children’s Village, she continues to work with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on International Child Health as a grant advisor, reviewer and facilitator for ICATCH grants, now currently serving a three year term as the AAP ICATCH Program Director. Two of her ongoing international projects with UW’s Center for South Asia are funding a school lunch program and advising on health and nutrition at Chingari Rehabilitation Centre, in Bhopal, India, and creating and implementing a school health program at the Tibetan Childrens Home (TCH), in Dehradun, India. In collaboration with UW School of Medicine and Public Health pediatric faculty and residents and two other academic pediatric programs, knowledge and experience from TCH will be used to develop a Global School Health Toolkit online resource for pediatricians and school health providers worldwide.
Dr. Vijay Limaye is a climate and health scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental advocacy nonprofit. As an epidemiologist, he is broadly interested in addressing international environmental health challenges—quantifying, communicating, and reducing the risks associated with climate change—with a focus on the public health burdens of air pollution and extreme heat. At NRDC, he leads economic valuation work to demonstrate the significant health costs of climate change and he works to defend the science that underpins the Clean Air Act. Prior to joining NRDC, he worked as a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientist, focusing on Clean Air Act regulatory implementation, air quality monitoring policy, risk communication, and citizen science. Limaye, who also speaks Spanish and Hindi, has published several research studies on the health impacts of climate change-triggered air pollution and extreme heat in the U.S. and India. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD in environmental epidemiology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.