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Unclean environment, others cause diseases, says WHO

Posted by By Chukwuma Muanya, Senior Health Reporter on 2006/06/19 | Views: 6311 |

Unclean environment, others cause diseases, says WHO


A RECENT report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has shown that specific diseases and injuries are caused by environmental factors, which include unclean surroundings among others.

A RECENT report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has shown that specific diseases and injuries are caused by environmental factors, which include unclean surroundings among others.

The report released at the weekend by the WHO indicates that as much as 24 per cent of global disease is caused by environmental exposures, which can be averted. The WHO, however, stressed that well-targeted interventions can prevent much of this environmental risk.

The report, titled: "Preventing disease through healthy environments - Towards An Estimate of the environmental burden of disease," further estimates that more than 33 per cent of disease in children under the age of five is caused by environmental exposures. It has also been shown that preventing environmental risk could save as many as four million lives a year in children alone, mostly in developing countries.

The report is the most comprehensive and systematic study yet undertaken on how preventable environmental hazards contribute to a wide range of diseases and injuries.

Indeed, by focusing on the environmental causes of disease and how they are influenced by environmental factors, the report breaks new grounds in understanding the interactions between environment and health. The study reflects how much death, illness and disability could be realistically avoided every year as a result of better environmental management.

Acting WHO Director-General, Dr. Anders Nordstrom, said in a press statement: "The report issued today is a major contribution to ongoing efforts to better define the links between environment and health".

He added: "We have always known that the environment influences health very profoundly, but these estimates are the best to date. This will help us to demonstrate that wise investment to create a supportive environment can be a successful strategy in improving health and achieving development that is sustainable."

The report indicates that more than 13 million deaths annually are due to preventable environmental causes. Nearly one third of death and disease in the least developed regions is due to environmental causes. Over 40 per cent of deaths from malaria and an estimated 94 per cent of deaths from diarrhoeal, two of the world's biggest childhood killers, could be prevented through better environmental management.

According to the report, the four main diseases influenced by poor environments are diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, various forms of unintentional injuries and malaria.

The WHO added that measures which could be taken now to reduce this environmental disease burden include the promotion of safe household water storage and better hygienic measures; the use of cleaner and safer fuels; increased safety of the built environment, more judicious use and management of toxic substances in the home and workplace and better water resource management.

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Comments (8)

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Obinna(Newark Nj)says...

I want to know more meaning and significant of this name obidike in igboland

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Olusola Okhiria Nee Sodunke(Newport, Newport, UK)says...

This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.

Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.

The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.

A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution

May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.

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Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

ULIMASI means' GOD,THANK YOU' not THANK GOD.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.