#OurEnvironment OurHealth


21 Oct 2016

#OurEnvironment OurHealth

The next Public Engagement event in the Voices for Health series jointly organized by the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) will focus on environmental health and will be held in Delhi. Download the programme flier

According to WHO, 25% of the global burden of disease is due to modifiable environmental risk factors. These risk factors which include air pollution, unsafe water and chemical contamination contribute significantly to India’s disease burden. 

Did you know?

  • Air Pollution is the second highest risk factor of deaths in India.
  • Tobacco smoke exposure, especially during pregnancy remains the single greatest preventable risk factor for respiratory disease in children.
  • 86% of population has access to improved water use but only 33% of population has access to improved sanitation.
  • In India, waterborne diseases affect 38 million people each year, of which over 75% are children; 780,000 deaths are attributable to contaminated water and more than 400,000 can be attributed to diarrhea alone (WHO estimate)
  • 50% (13% - Urban, 67% - Rural) of people in India still practice open defecation.
  • Over 4 million people die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels.
  • More than 50% of premature deaths due to pneumonia among children under 5 are caused by the particulate matter (soot) inhaled from household air pollution.
  • India is the fifth largest producer of e-waste in the world, discarding roughly 18.5 lakh metric tons of electronic waste each year.
  • About 2/3rd of e-waste workers in India suffer from respiratory ailments like breathing difficulties, irritation, coughing, choking, and tremors problems due to improper safeguards and dismantling workshops 
  • At  least 186,000 deaths per year due to pesticide poisoning (nearly all in developing countries).

Ongoing activities

#OurEnvironmentOurHealth awareness programme aims to bring together local community-based organisations, private organisations, area schools and colleges and other key stakeholders with an interest in environmental health and offer a platform for conversation/activities to raise awareness of relevant environmental health topics.  We are currently organising EH sensitization workshops at Colleges in New Delhi.  In partnership with Happy Hands Foundation we are engaging with school students on EH using traditional Indian arts such as Puppetry and Patua art. As part of the programme, we will be curating a half-day public event on Environmental health towards the end of November. Watch this space for more information on that. 

Snapshots from the school workshops https://www.flickr.com/photos/happyhandsf/sets/72157670836188734/with/29750666461/

and college workshops https://www.facebook.com/thePHFI/posts/1199215820121645

Write to us at public.engagement@wellcomedbt.org to find out more about this programme. Follow us on social media for regular updates : Facebook, Twitter

About Voices for Health series

Voices for Health is an effort aimed at engaging people and communities to better understand public health and to educate them about key determinants of emergent heath issues. This initiative is planned as a series of public engagement events that will bring together biomedical researchers with policy makers, social scientists, health workers, media and other stakeholders to talk about important health issues. Each event will focus on a public health topic of contemporary interest. The series will aim to demystify science and myths, disseminate latest health research and share perspectives of experts and people.