Climate change, globalization, and inequality: How vector-borne infectious diseases are threatening human health in Canada

By Aisha Barkhad of McMaster University


Global environmental change, driven by avertible anthropogenic catalysts that amplify greenhouse gas emissions is the single most arduous threat facing humanity today. Canada is considered one of the top 10 countries most vulnerable to a changing climate due to its susceptibility to extreme weather events from coast to coast. The surge and spread of endemic and exotic vector-borne infectious diseases (VBIDs) and their upshot on the health of Canadians are especially staggering due in large part to climate change. This essay provides real-world Canadian examples to explore the distinct roles of climate change and globalization as drivers of VBIDs transmission, risk, and burden; we address how, together, a changing climate and globalization are increasing national inequality and subsequent disparities in the VBIDs context. Climate change, globalization, and inequality finally recommends (a) increased funding opportunities for climate change and VBIDs research, (b) addressing the need for a conceptual framework and (c) incorporation of a One Health approach in the National Adaptation Strategy.