Assemblies invited to prioritize environmental health issues

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Environmental health officials from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (WADA) marked World Environmental Health Day 2021 by calling on assemblies to put environmental health issues high on their agendas.

It was on the theme: “Prioritizing Environmental Health for Healthier Communities in Global Recovery”.

The United Nations General Assembly in 2011 declared September 26 as a day to promote and increase awareness among environmental health practitioners and to project their roles and duties towards humanity.

Professor Edward Wiafe, dean of the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Environment and Sustainable Development, who launched the call, said now is the time to prioritize environmental health to make the nation healthier.

“As the Day is celebrated on September 26, 2021 as the new directors general of the assemblies are confirmed, I call on them to place environmental health issues first on their scale of preference,” he said.

Prof Wiafe said there is a need for government, policymakers and development workers to understand the impact of good environmental health on development and factor it into policy planning.

“Again, there is a need to review the management and governance of human settlements to build resilience and preparedness, and support local recovery,” said Professor Wiafe.

He recommended that the Assemblies muster the political will required to ensure that communities become more secure, resilient and sustainable with the appropriate technological measures.

He called for the promotion of urban forestry by integrating trees into the design and development of cities.

“This will promote carbon sequestration, reduce temperature and prevent soil sealing while improving soil infiltration, which reduces flooding,” he said.

Professor Wiafe said that because of an unhealthy environment, 12 million people around the world die every year, and this could be avoided.

Environmental pollutants could cause health problems like respiratory and heart disease and certain types of cancer, he said.

“It has been postulated that low-income people are more likely to live in polluted areas and have unsanitary drinking water and even more children and pregnant women are at greater risk for health problems related to the pollution, “he said.

Professor Wiafe said the work of environmental health workers should be given great respect as they expose themselves to dangers to the detriment of their health, adding that their hard work has prevented COVID-19 from having a greater impact. important on the country.

Madame Florence Kuukyi, Director of WADA’s Public Health Department, said environmental health practitioners ensure a safe, hygienic and healthy environment for human habitation.

“These practitioners, in their field of work, have a high knowledge of tradition; they know the risks and know how to get the “message” to the public. They think globally and act locally, probably because pollution has no respect for political boundaries, ”she said.

Ms Kuukyi said the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the vital role environmental health practitioners play around the world and called on government, civil society and non-governmental organizations, religious bodies and leaders to ‘opinion to prioritize environmental health in their activities.

“It should be noted that with good environmental health practices, the public cannot contract communicable diseases such as typhoid and cholera,” she said.


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