Transforming one of the world’s poorest nations into a center of health, resilience, and innovation.
The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has an unprecedented opportunity to help the government of Madagascar improve health and well-being for tens of millions of people. A Harvard-led collaboration will create public health information systems that are multi-sectoral and resilient, driving cooperation across climate, environmental, agricultural, and health sectors to address the social and environmental determinants of health.
WHY PUBLIC HEALTH MUST BE CLIMATE-SMART
Climate change and other environmental challenges have real and immediate impacts on human health, especially in vulnerable nations like Madagascar. For example:
To be focused and effective, public health efforts must account for the wider systems affecting human wellbeing. As climate change causes ever more disastrous perturbations in our environment, governments must learn to predict and manage the fallout.
INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE FOR RESILIENCE
Madagascar has a limited centralized data collection system to monitor public health and disease, and no surveillance system for environmental trends that could influence health. A successful rollout of climate-smart public health will require pinpoint awareness of developments in environmental and human health, allowing for responsive interventions and long-term planning to address health threats.
COLLABORATION FOR A SUSTAINABLE AND HEALTHY SOCIETY
What can be accomplished when government ministries recognize their interrelated responsibilities for human well-being?
INFORMATION FOR ACTION
Over the next five years, the Climate, Health, and Agricultural Monitoring and Prediction (CHAMP) Initiative, led by the Harvard Chan School, will:
|• Create a cutting-edge public health
information system, incorporating
existing data from Madagascar’s health
clinics to develop a coherent database
with capacity for cross-regional and
longitudinal analysis.||• Begin collecting new community-level,
country-wide sentinel surveillance
observations across public health,
ecology, climate, agriculture/land use,
and other areas to enable analytical and
|• Work with and help train community
health workers as they deploy to
communities across Madagascar.||• Integrate data streams from climate,
ecological, and agricultural data (both
remotely sensed and locally collected)
to develop an interoperable information
|• Begin training community health
workers.||• Begin health systems strengthening in
maternal and child health.|
|YEAR 3||YEAR 4 AND 5|
|• Continue to refine data systems, including
retraining of CHWs.||• Pilot interministerial interventions
based on climate-smart public health.|
|• Begin capacity building for policy/
ministerial interventions using newly
developed climate-smart public health
evidence base.||• With our refined public health
information platform, we will evaluate
the impact of interventions and adapt
|• Train students in the new doctoral
program of public health and health
professionals in epidemiology,
biostatistics, mental health, and other
areas of integrative intervention.|
|• Translate these intersectoral mechanistic
observations and analyses to enhance
planning abilities across ministries.|
A BASIS FOR SUCCESS
Harvard Chan faculty are involved in public health initiatives across Madagascar and have deep relationships with Malagasy government ministries, especially the Ministry of Health.
We have the intellectual capital. We have the partnerships. We understand the urgency of our work for millions of people across Madagascar and worldwide. All we need is you.
With your help, Madagascar will become a shining example of how commitment to public and planetary health improves human wellbeing—an example that lights the way for other governments. Your support for Climate-Smart Public Health will have exponential impact all over the world.