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Malcolm Potts - Crisis in the Sahel: Where Population and Climate Change Are Colliding

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 17:30 to 19:00
Manson Lecture Theatre, LSHTM, Kepple Street
Malcolm Potts

Professor Malcolm Potts, renowned in the field of public health, gave a one-off keynote lecture for LIDC. The lecture, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, focused on the emerging humanitarian disaster in the Sahel. It has been central to the work of his team for several years. 

There are humanitarian, food security, ecological refugee migration, and conflict terrorism implications of this crisis. In the middle of the 21st century it will involve more people than live in the USA.

There are also evidence-based measures to ameliorate the crisis, including agricultural adaptations, improving access to voluntary family planning, building human capital and efforts to to keep girls in secondary school. Potts argues that one of the most effective ways to mitigate disaster is to give people access to family planning.

Even merely meeting the need for everyone that wants family planning and contraceptive advice to have access now, would be enough to make a huge impact on population numbers in the future. Let alone promoting policies that reduce the fertility rate.

Video and presentation slides: