Climate Change is happening and it is badly affecting human life and health. Pakistan being a developing country has a poor healthcare infrastructure, which leads to many social disparities. Health is one of the biggest barriers to development in Pakistan but as the Climate Change unfolds itself, the burden has doubled due to unexpected climatic events.    Since Climate Change is not just a problem of future generations, the hospitals lacking health facilities, financial resources and infrastructure need rapid capacity improvements.

As predicted by scientists, the climate induced events are become severe every year. The inhabitants of district Tharparker in Pakistan that borders the Indian states of Rajastan and Gujarat are facing a drought for the third consecutive year. In Tharparker, that has a population of 1.5 million people spread out over 2,300 villages, mostly the children and women are bearing the brunt of this slow and recurring disaster. A report released by the provincial government about the drought situation in Thar shows that 311 children under five years of age died between December 2013 and November 2014.The report, shows that the main causes of death of the children include birth asphyxia, pre-term, low birth weight, respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia. According to latest reports, the death toll has reached up to 500 infant deaths. Malnutrition and hunger are rampant, while thousands of families cannot find water. Women not only have to look after the children, they are also forced to fill a labour gap caused by an exodus of men migrating to urban areas in search of jobs.

The Thar desert, which straddles the Indian border and is one of Pakistan's poorest areas, has seen an alarming number of children suffering from pneumonia or diarrhea due to a dangerous mix of drought, poverty and poor health infrastructure. The predictions of harder times ahead have been a wakeup call for local communities and policymakers alike – building resilience is the only defense against a rising death toll.

Another unexpected event occurred in the form of mini cyclone in Peshawar this year. Intense rain and strong winds rocked the city of Peshawar and adjacent districts, felling trees, causing dozens of roofs and walls to collapse and blocking many roads. The injured included nearly 100 children, according to officials, while farmers suffered badly as well. "At least 44 people have been killed and 202 wounded. The storm followed by heavy rain and hailstorm has severely damaged wheat crops and orchards," said Provincial Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani.

Severe rains which began in mid-July this year, caused havoc in many parts of Pakistan. Authorities said that the floods had affected 300,000 people in just two weeks since deluges hit the northern city of Chitral and the eastern Punjab province. According to authorities, the severe weather has damaged 422 villages in Punjab and as many as 350 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Every year, Pakistan and neighboring India are hit by severe weather patterns, which have killed hundreds and wiped out millions of acres of prime farmland in recent years, harming the heavily agrarian economy. Experts have warned that climate change could make the annual floods worse, while some local people say the government has failed to tackle the problem.

Just before these recent flooding, over 1,200 people died due to week long heat wave in Karachi. Temperatures reaching 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) struck Karachi. The weakest and the most vulnerable were the worst hit, among them was a large number of elderly people. Perhaps it was the cumulative effect of prolonged electricity shortages, chronic water shortages, pollution and Climate Change which resulted in so many deaths.

It’s high time we began viewing unexpected natural events, especially heat waves, as climate induced disasters and make rapid structural changes to mitigate the effects. Floods and droughts are common in Pakistan however the severe heat wave caught the experts and government officials unaware. Good planning at national and provincial levels with preventive actions can reduce mortalities and reduce the damage. For instance, in the Indian city of Ahmedabad, South Asia’s first Heat Health Plan has been developed and implemented. The successful implementation of the heat health management plan, developed by LEAD Pakistan and Climate and Development Knowledge Network, restricted the loss of life in the city to seven in a similar heat wave event in 2010.

Ahmedabad’s Heat Health Project has been recognised globally for its success and was named as one of the top 20 projects at the Sendai Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in early 2015. This project was also greatly appreciated in South Asian Cities Summit in New Delhi in May 2015, attended by officials from local governments and other stakeholders from different South Asian countries.

The project provides attempts to mitigate the impacts on health by identifying high risk cities and localities and briskly implementing a low cost high return plan. These include; increasing access to drinking water and shades to outdoor workers, developing building codes that are more heat-resilient and provision of transport system that enables people to avoid heat stress during frequent power outages that multiplies heat effect. In Ahmedabad, these small steps included launching awareness campaigns through billboards, handouts and other forms of communication with basic information of heat preparedness, installation of over 1,100 drinking water stations, keeping all gardens open, capacity building of medical staff with respect to heat affected conditions and their solutions and the installation of early warning system which helps people and government departments prepare in advance. The government of Pakistan is in touch with LEAD and jointly conducted a seminar for knowledge sharing with GOP officials so that similar initiatives can be planned for other heat vulnerable cities to avoid the disasters in the making and the consequent loss of human lives.

The most important thing is that the upcoming COP21 and occurrence of such unpredictable and severe events has created awareness and public demand in Pakistan. The much ignored health sector need reforms in the face of changing climate. The discussions have been initiated at different levels including the federal and provincial and local government and it has been noticed that despite the fact that Pakistan relies on foreign funding to deal with the impacts of Climate Change , the solution seems to be community-based planning using a participatory approach giving special encouragement to women.