World Health Day:99% of people breathe unhealthy air says WHO

By Blessing Adewole

The World Health Organization WHO urges accelerated action to protect human health and combat the climate crisis at a time of heightened conflict and fragility on its founding day, the Organization seeks a re-imagining and re-prioritization of resources to usher in sustainable, well-being societies.

This was contained in a statement signed today by the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to commemorate the World Health Day of April 7, 2022.

WHO ithe statement , the Director called for more accelerated action by leaders and all people to preserve and protect health and mitigate the climate crisis as part of an “Our planet, our health” campaign marking the organization’s founding day, which falls at a time of heightened conflict and fragility.

WHO notes that 99 per cent of people breathe unhealthy air mainly resulting from burni
ng of fossil fuels as such, a heating world is seeing mosquitos spread diseases further and faster than ever before, just as extreme weather events, biodiversity loss, land degradation and water scarcity are displacing people and affecting their health, it added.

It stated further that, Pollution and plastics are found at the bottom of the deepest oceans, the highest mountains which have made their way into our food chain and blood stream Also the Systems that produce highly processed, unhealthy foods and beverages are driving a wave of obesity, increasing cancer and heart disease while generating up to one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

He explained also that the health and social crisis have influenced people’s ability not to take control over their health and lives.

“The climate crisis is a health crisis: the same unsustainable choices that are killing our planet are killing people,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“We need transformative solutions to wean the world off its addiction to fossil fuels, to reimagine economies and societies focused on well-being, and to safeguard the health of the planet on which human health depends.”

He continued that COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fault lines of inequity across the world, underlining the urgency for creating sustainable, well-being societies which do not breach ecological limits and which ensure that all people have access to life-saving and life-enhancing tools, systems, policies and environments.

He reiterated WHO’s committment to ensure a healthy and green recovery from COVID-19 prescribes protecting and preserving nature as the source of human health; investing in essential services from water & sanitation to clean energy in healthcare facilities; ensuring a quick and healthy energy transition; promoting healthy and sustainable food systems; building healthy and livable cities; and stopping the use of taxpayers’ money to fund pollution.

He said while WHO through its World Health Day campaign, is calling on governments, organizations, corporations, and citizens to share actions that will protect the planet and human health, stressed on the need for global organization’s efforts that will continue to be clamour for equitable health system without destroying the health planet.

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