April 7th is celebrated as World Health Day each year. This year’s World Health Day 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.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 13 million deaths around the world each year are due to avoidable environmental causes. This includes the climate crisis which is the single biggest health threat facing humanity. The climate crisis is also a health crisis.
Our political, social and commercial decisions are driving the climate and health crisis.
Nine out of ten (90%) of people breathe unhealthy air resulting from burning of fossil fuels.
Burning fossil fuels like oil, coal and natural gas causes air pollution.
Air pollution kills 13 people every minute due to lung cancer, heart disease and strokes.
Rising temperatures and floods caused by climate change will place an additional 2 billion people at risk of dengue infection.
Climate change is a threat to human health driving diseases like cancer, asthma, heart disease, and mosquito-borne diseases like Dengue.
3.6 billion people lack safe toilets globally. Untreated human waste degrades ecosystems and human health.
2 billion people lack safe drinking-water globally. Protect water sources by preventing sewage, waste and chemicals from entering our lakes, rivers, or groundwater.
829 000 people die from diarrhoeal disease every year caused by polluted water and poor sanitation.
Manage medical waste safely. Needlestick injuries from discarded syringes can cause Hepatitis B, C and infectious diseases. Emissions from burning of health care can increase cancers.
Tobacco kills more than 8 million people every year & is highly addictive. It is a major risk factor for cancer, heart, lung diseases. 600 Million trees are chopped down to make 6 trillion cigarettes every year, decreasing the clean air we breathe.
Nitrogen dioxide pollution can aggravate respiratory diseases, particularly asthma.
Well planned public transport systems, including safe walking and cycling, can improve air quality, mitigate climate change, and deliver additional health gains.
Link to World Health Day campaign page:
Link to related WHO video: