Children’s environmental health in south and Southeast Asia: Networking for better child health outcomes
© 2019 The Author(s). Children are particularly vulnerable to environmental hazards because they receive higher doses of pollutants in any given environment and often do not have equitable access to social protection mechanisms such as environmental and health care services. The World Health Organization established a global network of collaborating centres that address children’s environmental health (CEH). The network developed a focus on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and is broadening its reach by conducting regional workshops for CEH. Objective: This paper reports on the outcomes of a workshop held in conjunction with the 17th International Conference (November 2017) of the Pacific Basin Consortium for Environment and Health, focused on the state of CEH in South and Southeast Asia as presented by seven countries from the region (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka). Workshop outcomes: Country reports presented at the meeting show a high degree of similarity with respect to the issues threatening the health of children. The most common problems are outdoor and household air pollution in addition to exposure to heavy metals, industrial chemicals, and pesticides. Many children still do not have adequate access to clean water and improved sanitation while infectious diseases remain a problem, especially for children living in poverty. Child labour is widely prevalent, generally without adequate training or personal protective equipment. The children now face the dual burden of undernutrition and stunting on the one hand and overnutrition and obesity on the other. Conclusion: It is evident that some countries in these regions are doing better than others in varying areas of CEH. By establishing and participating in regional networks, countries can learn from each other and harmonise their efforts to protect CEH so that all can benefit from closer interactions.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Annals of Global Health
Sly, P., Trottier, B., Carpenter, D., Cha’on, U., Cormier, S., Galluzzo, B., Ghosh, S., Goldizen, F., Heacock, M., Jagals, P., Joshi, H., Kathuria, P., Ha, L., Magsumbol, M., Navasumrit, P., Prabhakaran, P., Sen, B., Skelly, C., Suraweera, I., Vong, S., Wangdi, C., & Suk, W. (2019). Children’s environmental health in south and Southeast Asia: Networking for better child health outcomes. Annals of Global Health, 85 (1) https://doi.org/10.5334/aogh.2403