Day one of the Conference on Climate Change and Pandemic Preparedness is currently underway at Sanitas, Gaborone.The Botswana Harvard Health Partnership (BHP) and The German Embassy in Gaborone have organized a two-day Conference on Climate Change and Pandemic Preparedness taking place today at Sanitas and tomorrow at UB Conference Centre. The conference is deliberating on environmental challenges, climate change, climate-amplified diseases and epidemics, and their impact on public health.

Day One of the conference has brought together scientists from Germany, Botswana, and other countries in Southern Africa, for an expert/think tank meeting of 20 to 30 scientists and researchers. This initiative is to incubate opportunity for collaborative projects, facilitate shared experiences and results with a view to positively influence policy and mitigation strategies for climate change and pandemic preparedness at community, regional and global level.

The second part of the conference which will take place tomorrow at UB Conference Centre, will be held as a panel discussion open to the public and the media. This session is meant to present the scientific think tank outcomes and contribute to awareness raising in Botswana and beyond about the effects of climate change on public health.

This conference was funded by the German Embassy in Gaborone and it was inspired by the German Africa Award for 2022 which was awarded to BHP’s Prof. Sikhuklile Moyo and Prof. Tulio de Oliveira from South Africa for the discovery and their research on the Omicron variant of the SARS-C0V-2, COVID-19 virus. Meanwhile, their research focus is shifting to climate-amplified diseases, future pandemics and how best to prepare for them.