Day 2 :
World Bank, USA
Time : 09:00-09:35
Govinda R Timilsina is a Senior Research Economist at the Development Research Department of the World Bank. He works in the field of energy and economic development covering a wide range of topics including energy & environment, climate change, energy and poverty, clean and renewable energy. He has been widely published more than 50 journal articles, more two dozens of books, book chapters and technical reports.
The main sources of energy (coal, oil, and solid biomass) are directly linked to human health. Global health observatory data produced by the World Health Organization shows that ambient air pollution was responsible for 3.7 million deaths in 2012, of which 88% in low and middle-income countries. It was responsible for 16% of the lung cancer deaths, 11% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) deaths, more than 20% of ischaemic heart disease and stroke, and about 13% of respiratory infection deaths. Energy production activities, such as coal-fired power plants and fuel consumption activities, such as urban road transportation, are the primary sources of emissions responsible for ambient air pollution. Similarly, it is estimated that acute respiratory infections, mainly caused by indoor air pollution resulted from biomass and fossil fuel burning is the largest single category of deaths (64%) in children under 5 years of age in developing countries. Indoor air pollution ranks 4th on the global burden of disease risk factors at almost 5%, coming after high blood pressure (8%), tobacco smoking and second-hand smoke (7%), and alcohol use (6%). More than 40% of the global population today still rely on solid biomass fuels (e.g., fuel, wood, charcoal, coal, animal and crop wastes), the main precursors of the indoor air pollution, for cooking and home heating. These statistics indicate the deep nexus between energy supply and human health. Yet, the negative implications for human health are mostly ignored while developing energy supply plans and strategies in developing countries. If the costs to human health caused by an energy supply chain are reflected in the energy pricing system, it could significantly change the energy supply mix world-wide.
University of Bern, Switzerland
Time : 09:35-10:10
Johannes Bircher has completed his professional formation at the University of Zürich, and his postgraduate education at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Zürich. Then he worked at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology of the University of Bern, at the Black Lion Hos-pital in Addis Ababa and at the University of Gottingen before he became dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Witten/Herdecke. Now he is retired. He published 253 papers partly in high ranking scientific journals, and seven books.
Costs of health care have become a growing and potentially dangerous burden to the society. Yet, so far health economy (HE) has not been able to relieve the situation. We invite health economists to give considerations to a new look at the nature of health described by the Mei-kirch model (MM) and to explore its possible benefits for HE. The Mm states: “Health is a dynamic state of wellbeing emergent from conductive interactions between individuals’ po-tentials, life’s demands, and social and environmental determinants. Throughout the life course health results when an individuals’ biologically given potential (BGP) and his or her personally acquired potential (PAP), interacting with social and environmental determinants, satisfactorily respond to the demands of life.” The PAP of each individual is the most modifi-able component of the model. It responds positively to constructive social interactions and to personal growth. It is the site of personal responsibility. The rising costs of health care pre-sumably are due in part to the tragedy of the commons, to Moral Hazard of patients and of physicians, to managers and to other factors. Only a new culture of health will bring costs down to a satisfactory level. This encompasses innovations in personal health leadership and renegotiations of relationships at all social levels. Thereby equal weight is to be given to the MM, to HE, and to normative considerations. Refocusing of the health care system on the Mm may relieve the society from damages related to a destructive financial burden.