DMU Dean of Global Health calls for environmental action


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KC McGinnis | November 27, 2015

For Dr. Yogesh Shah, Associate Dean of Global Health at Des Moines University, human health and environmental care go hand in hand.

Dr. Shah penned a detailed op-ed in The Gazette this week on the importance of a clean environment in the health of patients like the ones he cares for.

“For years I have been telling patients, family and friends to stay healthy by eating well, socializing, learning new things and exercising,” he wrote. “But what I realized is that none of that matters if we aren’t living in a healthy environment with clean air and water.”

In the article Dr. Shah called Iowa’s elected officials and U.S. presidential candidates to promote policies that would lead to higher adoption of clean energy like wind and solar, aiming for these sources to make up at least 50% of Iowa’s energy portfolio by 2030. Utilizing these alternative energy sources is crucial not just for energy independence but for human health.

“Climate change is more than an environmental issue — it is a human health issue and we must take action now to protect the most vulnerable and our common home,” he wrote. “To protect our individual health, we must protect the health of our environment.”

Dr. Shah was among the presenters at this year’s Climate Science Educators Forum, hosted by Des Moines University, where he talked about how climate change has effected disease-carrying insect populations. Dr. Shah has also linked climate change to increased asthma and infectious diseases like malaria.

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