April 7 is World Health Day. This year's theme is "Our Planet, Our Health". In face of an epidemic, serious land pollution, cancer, asthma, heart disease and other diseases, World Health Organization is urging people around world to act quickly to maintain and protect hygiene and health, and to moderate climate. a crisis.
Wales, England, March 30, 2022. The Valero refinery in Pembrokeshire.
In today's world, 99% of population breathes unhealthy air, mainly due to burning of fossil fuels. Global warming is causing mosquitoes to spread disease faster than ever. Extreme weather events, biodiversity loss, land degradation and water scarcity are displacing people and adversely affecting their health. From deepest ocean floor and highest mountains to our food chains and circulatory systems, we find pollution and plastic. A system that produces highly processed, unhealthy food and drink is causing a wave of obesity, increasing risk of cancer and heart disease, and creating up to one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions.
On June 12, 2020, in Accra, capital of Ghana, garbage pickers made their way through a garbage-covered lagoon looking for plastic to sell. After rains, plastic waste dumped into city waterways is washed into lagoon.
WHO analysis shows that over past two decades, 40% of climate-related health emergencies have been related to waterborne diseases. In Africa, diarrheal diseases are third leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children under 5 years of age. Most of these deaths can be prevented with safe drinking water, proper sanitation and hygiene.
A Kenyan child undergoes treatment while staying at a children's center in Africa. Local women bring their children to site every week for food and medicine. Most of children suffer from various diseases due to malnutrition. Insufficient rainfall, entrenched poverty and lack of investment in devastated areas have left millions of people in Africa struggling to survive.
Africa is also grappling with other major health impacts associated with climate shocks, including malnutrition and famine due to adverse weather effects on agricultural production, long-term problems with child growth and development, and other infectious diseases such as malaria.
October 24, 2021, Kenya, shepherd Yusuf Abdullahi walks past carcasses of his 40 sheep that died from drought.
According to a report by Netherlands-based Global Adaptation Centre, climate change is likely to expand areas at high risk of malaria. Although malaria deaths in Africa have declined from 840 000 in 2000 to 602 000 in 2020, disease remains a major public health problem on continent.
The number of natural disasters has also increased significantly since 2010, with 70% of them occurring between 2017 and 2021. Floods were most frequent event, accounting for 33% of all recorded natural disasters.
January 15, 2022, a satellite image taken by Japan's Haima 8 meteorological satellite showed an underwater volcano erupting in Tonga.
Let's take Western Pacific as an example. According to data released by World Health Organization on 7th, 3.5 million people in Western Pacific region die every year due to environmental problems. Disasters caused by extreme weather conditions such as droughts, typhoons, floods and wildfires threaten people's lives. Greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution caused by the use of fossil fuels also pose a threat to human health.
On February 27, 2022, a farmhouse on Australia's Sunshine Coast was flooded by flood waters. Parts of southeast Queensland have experienced their worst flooding in a decade.
In Western Pacific, Pacific island nations bear brunt of climate change. Rising sea levels and more frequent tropical storms have led to shortages of drinking water and degradation of beaches and reefs in these island countries and their associated areas. In addition, infectious diseases such as dengue and malaria also challenge local medical system.
August 15, 2018 Funafuti, Tuvalu. An aerial view of ocean (left) and lagoon separated by a narrow strip of land. Residents of Pacific island nation of Tuvalu are increasingly feeling effects of climate change in their daily lives. Since 1993, sea levels have risen by 5 millimeters per year, well above world average.
Manifesto for a Healthy and Sustainable Recovery
WHO is urging governments to prioritize people's well-being in all key decisions, stop new fossil fuel research and subsidies, tax pollutants and comply with WHO air quality guidelines.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted fault lines of inequality around world, demonstrating urgency of building societies of sustainable well-being. The Sustainable Welfare Society does not push ecological boundaries by ensuring that all people have access to life-saving and life-enhancing tools, systems, policies and environment.
February 22, 2022 in Ashkelon, Israel, medical staff tend to patients with new crowns at Barzilai Medical Center. WHO releases a weekly epidemiological report on novel coronary pneumonia. The report notes that more than 12 million new confirmed cases of novel coronary pneumonia were reported worldwide from February 14 to 20, down 21% from previous week, and number of new deaths also trended downward, with a fall of 8%.
The WHO Declaration on Ensuring a Healthy and Green Recovery from Epidemic states that protecting nature is source of human health; investing in development of basic services, including water supply and sanitation, as well as use of clean energy in medicine and health care. healthcare facilities, ensuring a rapid transition to healthy energy, promoting healthy, sustainable food systems, building healthy, livable cities.
Image and text source: Xinhua News Agency, Visual China
Responsible editor: Zhang Ying
Proofreading: Ding Xiao