- The WHO stated in its report that seven million people die every year from exposure to polluted air
- According to the report, more than 90% of air pollution-related deaths occur in Asia and Africa
- The WHO director general, therefore, called for urgent action on air pollution
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday, May 2, said seven million people die every year from exposure to polluted air.
According to a WHO report, ambient, or outdoor air pollution alone caused some 4.2 million deaths in 2016, while household air pollution from cooking with polluting fuels and technologies caused an estimated 3.8 million deaths in the same period.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that those figures are on a par with the number of deaths recorded in an earlier study published two years ago.
WHO said air pollution levels remain dangerously high in many parts of the world.
New data showed that nine out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants.
According to the report, more than 90% of air pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, mainly in Asia and Africa, followed by low- and middle-income countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region, Europe and the Americas.
“Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalized people bear the brunt of the burden,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
“It is unacceptable that over 3 billion people – most of them women and children – are still breathing deadly smoke every day from using polluting stoves and fuels in their homes.
“If we don’t take urgent action on air pollution, we will never come close to achieving sustainable development,” he said.
The WHO recognises that air pollution is a critical risk factor for non-communicable diseases, causing an estimated one-quarter (24%) of all adult deaths from heart disease, 25% from strokes, 43% from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 29% from lung cancer.
Legit.ng previously reported that the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that only one out of four Nigerian children receive recommended vaccination annually across Nigeria.
The international agency said, although Nigeria has made great strides in reducing the death of children under the age of five from 158 to 120 per 1,000 births between 2011 and 2016, the coverage of the main vaccines offered through routine immunization has declined.
UNICEF in a statement said the immunization coverage for pentavalent vaccine between the 36 states varies dramatically from 80% in Lagos to 3% in Sokoto.
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