Heartbeat of the Planet: Reporting on how climate change affects our health

HIV Storytelling · February 14, 2024

Welcome to Heartbeat of the Planet. We are thrilled that you could join us for this course as we explore the impact of climate change on  health.

This free course will help you understand the basic science behind the causes of climate change, the impact it has on public health and how you can tell the story effectively and accurately for your audiences.

This course is written and designed by a journalist for journalists in East and southern Africa who are interested in reporting in compelling and more effective ways about the link between climate change and public health.

Get to grips with climate change and public health

Climate change and public health are two hugely challenging areas for journalists to cover. So what happens when climate change and health collide? As a species we are fast experiencing the fall out of one of the greatest threats we have ever known which is climate change. This course will show you how to make the connection between climate change and public health. We will go on a journey journey of understanding how weather, climate variability and climate change can affect human health.

Telling stories that make a difference

Human-induced climate change is a reality that cannot be ignored. Extreme weather events such as flooding and droughts are increasing and poor communities particularly in developing countries, for example in southern and East Africa, are bearing the brunt of these disasters. We need to tell stories that equip our audience with information about the drivers of climate change and what can be done to prevent and reduce health risks. By communicating valuable information journalists can help individuals and communities prepare, take action and adapt to climate change.

Sources and resources

Find out where to go for accurate, up-to-date and reliable data, information and guidance relating to the health impacts of climate change

Shift the conversation

Packed with tips, real examples and quizzes, Heartbeat of the Planet helps journalists navigate ongoing developments in the climate change-health vaccine story. While we cannot ignore the crisis the planet is facing, merely reporting on disasters will not bring the change needed. The heart of this course is about communicating solutions to communities while remaining factual, accurate and ethical.

Before you dive in:

Here’s a quick welcome from course author Adele Baleta:

Welcome to the course which I hope you enjoy and benefit a lot from.

The course is packed with information that I hope you will find interesting and stimulate to read further on this important topic. Importantly, I hope you have fun navigating your way through the course.

The course is important and helpful for any journalist who wants to understand the connection between climate change and public health. It is free and gives great tips on how to improve your storytelling skills.

This is a self-learning, self-paced course and requires you to complete all the modules in order to earn your certificate. You will also need to pass the final quiz with at least 60%. You can use any stable, internet-enabled device to access and progress through the modules. Plan on setting aside at least 2 to 3 hours a day for five days to complete the course.

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Course Includes

  • 6 Lessons