500 actions aimed at reducing diseases caused by environmental factors
A new collection of 500 shares aimed at reducing mortality and disease caused by environmental risk factors has been created.
And, if the actions are fully implemented, nearly 25% of deaths worldwide could be prevented, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the WHO, environmental pollution and other environmental hazards account for 24% of deaths due, for example, to heart disease, stroke, poisoning, road accidents and others.
This toll could be significantly reduced – if not eliminated – through bold preventive action at national, regional, local and sectoral levels.
The Compendium of WHO and other United Nations guidelines on health and the environment provides easy access to practical actions allowing practitioners to scale up their efforts to create healthy environments that prevent disease.
It is designed for policy makers, government ministry staff, local government, in-country UN staff and other decision makers.
It presents actions and recommendations to tackle a full range of environmental risk factors for health, such as air pollution, unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene, climate and ecosystem change, chemicals, radiation and occupational hazards, among others.
Air pollution alone causes seven million deaths each year, while climate change is expected to increasingly contribute to a wide range of health impacts, both directly and indirectly through effects on biodiversity.
“Events such as record high temperatures in North America, massive flooding in Europe and China, and devastating forest fire seasons are a growing and ominous reminder that countries must step up actions to eliminate the health impacts of environmental risk factors, ”said Dr Maria Neira, Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, WHO.
She added that the UN was pooling its expertise in health and environment to help countries achieve sustainable development goals.
The compendium, accessible via interactive web pages on the WHO website and in PDF format for offline reference, also addresses priority action parameters, such as cities and urban settlements, as well as the environmental health of people. children.
Two-thirds of deaths attributed to environmental risk factors are due to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as heart disease, stroke and cancer, making the actions outlined in the compendium a crucial part of the fight against it. the NCD epidemic, the WHO said.
Collection can also play an important role in achieving health equity, as low- and middle-income countries bear the greatest environmental burden of all types of disease and injury.