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Risks and health impacts of climate hazards in Vietnam

Dang Thi Nhu Y*

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: In recent decades, changes in climatic conditions such as temperature and weather trends have been observed globally and these changes significantly influence the frequency and intensity of natural disasters. Vietnam is a coastal country with a high annual risk of exposure to extreme weather and climate hazards. As a result, the number of people affected and the resulting social and economic damage are likely to increase accordingly. To acquire insights into the potential harms from climate change, this study evaluates evidence of climate hazards, potential risks and health impacts across Vietnam. Data on climate change (surface temperature trends), climate hazard events, major risks of climate hazards (floods and storms) and health outcomes (death, injury, disease and mental health) were assembled from materials published since 2008. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed on the data obtained in order to evaluate major trends and impacts. The findings indicate that climate hazard events have increased significantly in the last two decades, especially the incidence of storms and floods, implicating the influence of temperature rise and climate change. The major human health costs of climate hazards are fatality, injury, infectious disease and loss of mental health. Moreover, climate hazards also induce mental health problems indirectly, through causing ecosystem service degradation and social and economic loss. The findings provide a basis of understanding from which to develop relevant strategies and specific measures to mitigate the harmful effects of climate hazards.