Reports, Case Studies & Assessments

Air Pollution and Health: Understanding the Problem and Advocating for Solutions


Air pollution is a major global environmental health risk factor that kills approximately 6 million people—mostly from underserved communities in low-and middle-income countries—every year. Though public awareness of air pollution is rising in many countries, major gaps remain between scientific evidence and public awareness of health risks, causes, and solutions. Historically, public awareness and resulting civil society movements have been important drivers of actions by government, businesses, and consumers to address environmental problems. Healthcare providers treating the respiratory, cardiovascular, and cerebrovascular illnesses that are caused or exacerbated by air pollution are already at the front lines of the struggle against air pollution and its health effects. As influencers of public discourse, healthcare providers of all types (e.g. physicians, nurses, community health workers, etc.) have a vital role in ensuring that the public, whose health they protect, is informed and engaged on the issue of air pollution. The target audience for this workshop is clinicians who serve low and middle-income populations around the globe, work in areas where air pollution bares a significant burden on the health of the public, and/or manage the health of populations that are otherwise vulnerable to the health effects of air pollution. The inaugural workshop was held in Durban, South Africa, in April 2018, and the next workshop will be held in the Hague, the Netherlands, in October 2018. Separate modules tailored for other health care providers (including nurses and community health workers) will be developed in the near future.


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