Credit: Eva Merritt

Medical students highlight link between the climate and health crisis

By Eva Merritt

Campaigning outside the Wolfson Medical Building, the students brought awareness to the climate as a factor in health.

University of Glasgow medical students campaigned to raise awareness about the link between the climate and health crisis this afternoon outside the Wolfson Medical Building. The students wore their scrubs with messages painted on the back of them as they approached passers-by with leaflets to educate them on the crisis. 

The students aimed to raise awareness on how the climate crisis is affecting people’s health. The Glasgow Guardian spoke to medical student Vidya Nanthakumar, who said they “feel like this is something that isn’t covered well in [the] medical curriculum and future health practitioners just aren’t being taught about how every aspect of health is linked to the climate crisis and vice versa.” 

The students undertook research into Glasgow Medical School’s record on incorporating the climate crisis into its work, and found that “Glasgow wasn’t doing much community outreach [and] it wasn’t really engaging with the public about something that could be seen as a big role in medical schools.”

Asked what they hope will come out of the campaign, Vidya said: “I think planetary health is going to be incorporated a little into the medical school’s curriculum soon – we don’t know how soon. I’m just hoping that because of this [we can also] engage more medical students.”

Fellow medical student campaigning, Marina Politis, told The Glasgow Guardian: “We learn about every risk factor to health like smoking, alcohol, lifestyle, and diet so why are they omitting the one that is going to cause the greatest harm to human health.” 

Marina also pointed to the NHS’s carbon footprint, citing the large number of single-use PPE masks used during the Covid-19 pandemic. “To me, it’s hypocritical to look after human health whilst also destroying it.”


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