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Heat Indicators for Global Health (HIGH Horizons): monitoring, Early Warning Systems and health facility interventions for pregnant and postpartum women, infants and young children and health workers

Project description

Preparing for the milder health impacts of climate change

Climate change has impacted people worldwide. In some places its impact can lead to natural disasters, while in others it leads to extremes of heat or cold. Particularly vulnerable groups like pregnant women, infants, frontline health workers and older citizens can be significantly affected by these changes. The EU-funded HIGH Horizons project aims to better prepare us for these eventualities by developing personalised early warning systems, studying the impact of extreme heat on vulnerable groups and preparing health facilities to assist them.


There are major gaps in surveillance of climate change and health in the EU and globally, making it difficult to track health burdens and policy outcomes. The HIGH Horizons project, over four years, involves 5 partners in the EU, 3 in Africa and 2 international organisations (WHO and UNICEF). It centres on pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and health workers, groups heavily affected by climate change. We quantify and monitor direct and indirect health impacts of extreme heat; test a personalised Early Warning System (EWS); and implement integrated adaptation-mitigation actions in health facilities. Analyses of heat impacts and data science predictive modelling using data from Sweden; Lazio Italy, and health facilities in Kenya and South Africa underpin all activities. These analyses and systematic reviews inform testing and selection of global, EU and national indicators. Analyses also inform cut-off thresholds for EWSs, stratified by risk groups. A smartphone app (ClimApp-MCH) will deliver warnings and setting-specific messages, co-designed locally. The app will be evaluated among 200 mothers and infants in Sweden, South Africa and Zimbabwe, from antepartum through 12 months of infant age. Simultaneously, we will document impacts of heat exposure on health worker wellbeing, health, productivity and quality of care, including through time-motion studies. Modifications to health facilities will be co-designed and modelled to reduce heat exposure for health workers and to limit facilities carbon emissions. Health worker outcomes and facility emissions will be compared pre- and post-intervention. Analyses weighing costs and benefits cut across all activities. Throughout we will disseminate project findings to relevant stakeholders, prioritising EU and global policy makers and leveraging existing networks. The final set of indicators on climate change and maternal, newborn and child health will be released in a WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA guidance document.
In order to optimise synergies, avoid overlaps and increase the impact of the projects selected for funding from the call HORIZON-HLTH-2021-ENVHLTH-02-03 (Health impacts of climate change, costs and benefits of action and inaction, Horizon Europe projects 101057843 HIGH Horizons, 101057131 CATALYSE, 101057764 BlueAdapt, 101057690 CLIMOS, 101057554 IDAlert and 101057739
TRIGGER), the projects will form a cluster. Common cluster activities will include the following:
1 . Common kick-off meeting of the six projects, to be organized in cooperation between DG R&I and the cluster;
2. Annual cluster meetings and periodic report of joint activities (delivered at each reporting period);
3. Common dissemination and communication activities, including a common dissemination and communication strategy for the cluster, cluster web portal and visual identity, cluster brochure, cluster newsletters, stakeholder list, Shared individual Data Management Plans between cluster partners, Policy Strategy of the cluster, including joint policy briefs and Scientific strategy of the cluster. The penholder and project responsible for each joint deliverable will be decided in the document setting out the Modalities for Implementation of the Cluster to be agreed on during 2022.
4. Thematic workshops/trainings on issues of common interest to be defined in the context of the scientific strategy of the cluster;
5. Working groups on topics of common interest (e.g. data management, communication and dissemination, science-policy link): to be defined in the context of the scientific strategy of the cluster;


Net EU contribution
€ 938 125,00
Sint pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 Gent

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Vlaams Gewest Prov. Oost-Vlaanderen Arr. Gent
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (8)

Partners (1)