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Unhealthy environment causes 12.6m deaths worldwide – WHO

Refuse littered Lipede-Kuto market in Abeokuta shut by Ogun government
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the number of people estimated to have died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment is now 12.6 million.
Dr Edwin-Isotu Edeh, WHO National Consultant, Public Health and Environment, said this at the 6th annual conference of the Association of Nigeria of Health Journalists (ANHEJ) in Akwanga.
According to report, the three-day conference, which began on Friday, was organised by ANHEJ in collaboration with the WHO.
The theme of the conference is “Health Security UHC and National Health: How can Nigeria get it right- The Role of the Media in Perspective”, with the sub-theme “FP 2030 targets: Is Nigeria on Track?”.
Edeh said that the number represented one in four of all deaths globally.
According to him, this underscores the devastating impact of the chemicals and waste that pollute the air, water and earth since the end of World War II.
He said the deaths were due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which included heart disease and cancer, and were related to exposure to pollution which now made up 8.2 million or nearly two-thirds of the total deaths.
“Deaths from infectious diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea due to unsafe water and lack of sanitation represent one-third and are on the decline.
“Low- and middle-income countries seem to bear the greatest burden of environment-related diseases and injuries.
“These include NCDs like cardiovascular diseases and cancers, while the highest number of deaths per capita attributable to the environment occurs in sub-Saharan Africa, primarily from infectious diseases,” Edeh said.
According to him, creating healthy environments is a critical component of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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