Space and Global Health/Risk Literacy

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SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities - Health of communities is one requirement for sustainable communities. Learning Resource supports SDG-Tagging

In this resource for capacity building Risk Literacy for Global Health is addressed. It can be considered on an organisational level, how institutions and organisations are able to leverage the potential of space technology for Global Health challenges. Furthermore Risk Literacy in the context of Global Health and the Open Community Approach has the objective to improve the ability to perceive the global health risks for individuals, communities and environment and respond with locally appropriate risk mitigation interventions. The capacity building toderive appropriate decisions from the detection of risks and demands on the organisational level induces awarness programmes for exposed communities and tailored delivery of educational resources for specific regions and local requirements and constraints. Organisational analysis of Global Health challenges is dependent on the risk perception as a subjective judgement of people. Improving risk literacy supports capacity building for the assessment of a local severity of a specific health problem. The individual competence to identify risks may vary from person to person and may be different in comparision between organisations. Furthermore requirements and constraints change in time and therefore risk management and decision support must be adapted according to location and time.[1]

Creating risk literacy materials with space technology

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In this framework space technology is used for different tasks. For some risks the spatial distribution can be determined via satellite images. For example the health of plants can be measured indirectly with the help of multispectral images by calculating a index called NDVI, which is a measure about how much chlorophyll a plant has or how healthy a plant is. This data can be for example used to determine in which areas forest dieback occur. With the help of the NDVI it is also possible to detect habitat conditions like available water surfaces for vectors responsible for human health risks like dengue or malaria. Also plastic garbage patches in the ocean can be observed via satellite images.


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Learning Task

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  1. Hansson, Sven Ove; Zalta, Edward N. (Spring 2014). "Risk". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 9 May 2014.