Gurugram campaign against air pollution launched

Gurugram, Nov 16 (IANS) Aiming to tackle rising incidence of respiratory diseases caused by deteoriating air quality, experts from various arenas such as health research and state pollution boards on Wednesday launched an anti-pollution campaign through which individuals will be informed about the pollution levels in different parts of the millennium city.

Under the “Gurgaon Against Pollution – Let’s Fight Back” campaign, a web portal will be launched which will facilitate all the information pertaining to pollution levels in different parts of Gurugram, such as levels of certain pollutants above the normal range, precautionary measures, experts speak and recommendations.

The portal is a way to ensure that every piece of information related to pollution control is disseminated to people and perfect synergy is maintained among the authorities involved.

Various stake holders of the initiative includes Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Philips and Haryana Pollution Control Board, among others.

Hospitals in Gurugram and Delhi recently saw a surge of 30 per cent in number of patients of respiratory and ocular problems due to the poor air quality.

The initiative was also launched to mark the World COPD Day. COPD — or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease — is a lung ailment that damages the airways inside the lungs, causing chest ­tightness, shortness of breath and persistent cough.

“People are becoming aware about the worsening situation that toxic air is causing, even in the comfort of their homes. They are adopting measures like installing air purifiers to remove contaminants such as harmful gases, fine-dust and pollen and also general germs, bacteria and viruses,” said Priyank Agarwal, Head of Strategy and New Business, Philips, India, on the occasion.

WHO recognises COPD as the sixth largest killer and it is likely to become the third biggest killer in coming years. Estimates by health experts suggest that there are 30 million COPD patients in India.

Himanshu Garg, Head of Respiratory and Critical Care, Artemis Hopsital said: “Air quality greatly affects lung functions and are devastating, especially in young children and elderly. The issue of air pollution is multi-faceted, therefore, a multi-faceted approach is needed to control the menace. Along with the government’s effort, public participation is necessary to improve air quality.”