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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 105-106

Implementing environmental health-related strategies to improve the well-being of women and children


1 Department of Community Medicine, Member of the Medical Education Unit & Medical Research Unit, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication22-Jan-2018

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvanchery Main Road, Sembakkam, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ed.ed_15_17

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Implementing environmental health-related strategies to improve the well-being of women and children. Environ Dis 2017;2:105-6

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Implementing environmental health-related strategies to improve the well-being of women and children. Environ Dis [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Oct 6];2:105-6. Available from: http://www.environmentmed.org/text.asp?2017/2/4/105/223789

Dear Editor,

The presence of a healthy environment is a must for any individual's growth, development, and survival.[1] Nevertheless, environment attributed health risks or sequels predominantly affect women and children (more vulnerable to heightened risks as their cognitive and physical development is at stake).[1],[2] In fact, the available global estimates reflect that modifiable environmental risk factors are responsible for the deaths of more than 12.5 million individuals each year, of which 12.7% are children in the 0–5-year age-group.[1] Further, regardless of the presence of a global strategy for the well-being of women, children, and adolescents, it is really alarming that most of the policymakers do not understand the relation between their optimal health and sustainable development of the nation.[1]

Considering the immense impact of adverse environment (such as indoor air pollution from the cooking stove or poor access to water and electricity facility in health-care establishments) on women and children, there is a great need to have intersectoral interventions to improve childhood survival and minimize the risk of premature deaths.[1],[2],[3] In fact, the presence of basic amenities in health establishments will pave the way for improving the health-seeking behavior of the local women for safe childbirth.[1] In addition, ensuring food security, access to clean water, equal access to a free and quality education, expansion of welfare programs such as immunization can also be implemented to improve the health of the population.[1] Further, considering the wide socioeconomic and environmental disparity across different regions of the world, significant improvement in health and well-being can be attained by supporting the deprived areas to attain better environmental standards.[1],[3]

Further, measures to expedite the change from conventional to cleaner fuels for household cooking or improved lighting standards, will not only bring about a massive decline in the attributed deaths (due to respiratory ailments, burns, kerosene poisonings, etc.), but will also ameliorate the health standards of billions of people across the globe.[1],[2],[3] On a similar note, measures to contain the outdoor air pollution can further improve the health standards of children, women, and adolescents by minimizing the potential risk for chronic respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancers later in life.[2],[3] These measures can range from the creation of an efficient public transport infrastructure to the development of safe outdoor spaces for children to play and indulge in physical activity (while its absence promotes sedentary lifestyles).[2],[4]

Moreover, exposure to toxic chemicals through water, foods and waste, affects children by causing an impact on their nervous system and cognitive development.[1],[2] In addition, unplanned urbanization (viz. poor housing, defective water supply, waste disposal and poor sanitation facilities) have played a remarkable role in the transmission of vector-borne diseases such as Zika virus disease, malaria, and dengue.[1],[5]

It is very important to acknowledge that the target to attain sustainable development goals (such as better public transport with special attention to women, children, elderly; promotion of maternal and newborn survival through improved water and sanitation and sustainable energy sources.) provide ample scope for the nations to establish healthier environments for these vulnerable population groups.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] Moreover, the global BreatheLife campaign plays an important role in simultaneously responding to public health as well as climate change-related goals.[1],[2] Even though interventions to improve health-care delivery or promotion of gender equity can be identified as key areas; the overall success will be determined by the reach of these services in both urban and rural areas.[1]

To conclude, considering the immense role of the environment and related attributes on the health status of women, children, and adolescents, addressing environmental health risks should always be regarded as an integral element of the global development vision.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
Neira M, Fletcher E, Brune-Drisse MN, Pfeiffer M, Adair-Rohani H, Dora C. Environmental health policies for women's, children's and adolescents' health. Bull World Health Organ 2017;95:604-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Preventing diseases through promotion of a healthier environment: World Health Organization. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2016;9:364-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
3.
Beyer A, John U, Kastirke N, Sannemann J, Hannöver W, Meyer C, et al. The home environment of families with children as address for a public health action for reduction of tobacco smoke. Gesundheitswesen 2013;75:77-81.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Neutralizing the contribution of obesogenic environment in the development of childhood obesity. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2016;9:430-1.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  
5.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Encouraging collaborative efforts between environment and health sector to arrest climate deterioration. J Res Med Sci 2017;22:59.  Back to cited text no. 5
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