WHO and UN partners create environmental risk factors compendium

Health Watch

FOUR United Nations agencies have partnered to create a new compendium of 500 actions aimed at reducing death and diseases driven by environmental risk factors.
They are the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
Environmental pollution and other environmental risks cause 24 per cent of deaths through, for example, heart disease, stroke, poisonings, traffic accidents, and others, according to the WHO.
This can be substantially reduced – even eliminated – through bold preventive action at national, regional, local and sector-specific levels.
The compendium’s guidance on health and environment provides easy access to practical actions for practitioners to scale up efforts to create healthy environments that prevent disease. It is designed for policy-makers, staff in government ministries, local government, in-country UN personnel and other decision-makers.
The repository presents actions and recommendations to address a comprehensive range of environmental risk factors to health, such as air pollution, unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene, climate and ecosystem change, chemicals, radiation and occupational risks, among others.
Dr Maria Neira, the department of environment, climate change and health director at the WHO, said: “Events such as record-breaking high temperatures in North America, massive flooding in Europe and China, and devastating wildfire seasons provide increasingly frequent, grim reminders that countries need to step up action to eliminate the health impacts of environmental risk factors. The UN is uniting its health and environment expertise to support countries in this endeavour.” – WHO