Smoking, no physical activity, food preferences and pollution make lungs weak
Geneva, March 06: A dreadful report by World Health Organisation(WHO) reveals that in each year, environmental pollutions cost an estimated 1.7 million lives among children under five year age.
The most familiar causes of death include diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia, all of which are largely able to be prevented.
The causes include life-threatening water, the absence of sanitation, poor cleanliness practices and indoor and outdoor pollutions, as well as injuries.
The new numbers balance to these pollutants being the cause of 1 in 4 deaths of children 1 month to 5 years old.
One new report highlights that the most common causes of child death are able to prevent through interventions already available to the societies most affected.
These causes of the death are diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia, which can stay away by using insecticide-treated bed nets, clean cooking fuels and upgraded access to clean water.
“A polluted habitat is a deadly one — particularly for young children,” Dr Margaret Chan, the World Health Organisation’s director-general, said in a statement.
“Young Children’s developing organs and immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways, make them especially unprotected to dirty air and water.”
-Dr Margaret Chan,WHO Director General
New Born babies exposed to indoor or outdoor air pollution, including secondhand smoke, have an increased risk of pneumonia during childhood as well as an increased risk of chronic respiratory diseases — such as asthma — for the rest of their lives, one report discloses.
The report also noted that in households without access to safe water and sanitation, or are polluted with smoke from unclean fuels such as coal or dung for cooking and heating, children were at higher risk of diarrhoea and pneumonia.
“The babies developing organs and immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways, make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water,” Dr Chan said.
Maria Neira, a World Health Organisation expert on public health, said this was a heavy toll, both in terms of deaths and long-term illness and disease rates.
Maria urged governments to do more to make all places safe for children.