Climate Change and Sexual Health

A Conversation with Arpan Patel

November 22, 2023

We connected with Arpan Patel from New York Cares, to discuss the intricate connection between climate events and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). 

Arpan highlighted the challenges faced when adverse climate events displace communities. "The first thing we lose is access to healthcare facilities," Arpan pointed out, underlining the immediate impact on SRHR services.

The conversation also explored innovative approaches like designing eco-friendly menstrual hygiene products and incorporating sexual education into climate justice initiatives. These steps are crucial in advancing a holistic approach to climate activism that includes SRHR.

Arpan shed light on how midwives are playing a pivotal role in advancing climate justice, “midwives have a hand on both sides, alot of patients feel comfortable if there is a midwife present.” Their work, deeply rooted in communities, is an essential part of the climate resilience narrative.

Furthermore, the climate crisis often exacerbates existing inequalities within health systems. “Depending on the nature of the event, the first thing people might go through is displacement.” This displacement results in vulnerable populations facing greater risks and challenges, making the need for inclusive climate solutions more critical.

So, what can individuals do? Arpan emphasizes the importance of ensuring SRH plays a bigger role in climate activism. By recognizing and addressing the link between these two critical issues, we can work towards more comprehensive and effective solutions. The key is to understand that climate justice is inextricably linked to health justice, and our actions should reflect this connection.