WHO Tweeted About World Health Day

By      08-Apr 2022       Reading Time: 3 Mins

WHO Tweeted About World Health Day

Let’s reimagine a world where clean air, water, and food are available to all, possible or not? According to WHO new data, billions of people still breathe unhealthy air. Almost the entire global population (99%) breathes air that exceeds WHO air quality limits, and threatens their health. A record number of over 6000 cities in 117 countries are now monitoring air quality, but the people living in them are still breathing unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, with people in low and middle-income countries suffering the highest exposures.

The findings have prompted the World Health Organization to highlight the importance of curbing fossil fuel use and taking other tangible steps to reduce air pollution levels.

Released in the lead-up to World Health Day, which this year celebrates the theme Our planet, our health, the 2022 update of the World Health Organization’s air quality database introduces, for the first time, ground measurements of annual mean concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a common urban pollutant and precursor of particulate matter and ozone.

Steps Governments Can Take To Improve Air Quality and Health:
A number of governments are taking steps to improve air quality, but WHO is calling for a rapid intensification of actions to:

  • Adopt or revise and implement national air quality standards according to the latest WHO Air Quality Guidelines.
  • Monitor air quality and identify sources of air pollution.
  • Support the transition to exclusive use of clean household energy for cooking, heating and lighting.
  • Build safe and affordable public transport systems and pedestrian- and cycle-friendly networks.
    • Implement stricter vehicle emissions and efficiency standards; and enforce mandatory inspection and maintenance for vehicle:
    • Invest in energy-efficient housing and power generation
    • Improve industry and municipal waste management
    • Reduce agricultural waste incineration, forest fires and certain agro-forestry activities (e.g. charcoal production)
      Include air pollution in curricula for health professionals and providing tools for the health sector to engage.

Nitrogen dioxide or NO2 is associated with respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, leading to respiratory symptoms (such as coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing), hospital admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Particulate matter, especially PM2.5, is capable of penetrating deep into the lungs & entering the bloodstream, causing cardiovascular, cerebrovascular (stroke) & respiratory impacts.

World Health Day, marked on 7 April, will focus global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being.

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