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Bringing People Together – Antonia Sappong

At our March 1st webcast, Antonia Sappong shared the perspective of a health professional about why it is important to talk about and work for climate justice.

Dr. Antonia Sappong – MD, CCFP, B.Sc. Co-Founder PlasticFree Toronto – Bio

General Practitioner, Inner City Health Associates – Seaton House men’s shelter

Dr. Sappong currently works as a Family Doctor with the homeless population in Toronto. She understands the connection between individual health and environmental health, and is a passionate advocate for access to healthy environments and social justice. As Co-Founder of PlasticFree Toronto, she works to educate and inspire her community to pursue low waste and sustainable lifestyles, while also taking action on issues of environmental pollution, climate change, poverty, and institutionalized racism.  PlasticFree Toronto regularly hosts community workshops, political activism seminars, movie-nights, and beach clean-ups. 

Reimagining Planetary Health

Antonia starts with a definition, saying, “So what is planetary health? Basically, this is the understanding that human health is reliant on the health of our ecosystems and our world more broadly. Obviously a healthy ecosystem allows for us to build strong and resilient communities, which allow for things like employment, access to food, access to education, all of the things that allow us to be healthy and thrive. And so when we talk about climate change, we know that it’s going to have profound impacts on human health and they’ve already said that we’re going to see increased heat related illness. We’re going to see increases in vector borne disease. So things like Lyme disease, mosquito-borne diseases. We’re going to see impacts in terms of things like human migration, food insecurity, water insecurity. So, so many things. So we can’t really talk about human health without considering the health of our world.”

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