About one quarter (25 percent) of the global disease is linked to the environment or caused by environmental factors that could be changed, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The environment influences our health through the air we breathe, the water we drink, radiation and noise, the work environment, and also the climate and ecosystem.
Polluted air causes respiratory diseases, unclean water and lacking sanitation causes diarrhea, poorly managed water bodies causes vector diseases such as malaria.
More than 3.5 million deaths each year are from respiratory infections, diarrhea disease and malaria alone, according to World Health Organisation (WHO).
Often the practice has been to wait for diseases to happen before we spent so much resources to treat them afterwards.
But scientists have observed that taking care of the environment and keeping it clean directly affects the health of the environment we live in.
Interventions that will help us have a better and cleaner air, clean and safe water, is critical to protect us from pesticides or prevent cancer – definitely will have an impact on health.
Call by CLAP GH
The Climate, Livelihoods & Agriculture Platform (CLAP Gh) is therefore constituted to build synergy along the Science, Environment and Agriculture nexus to drive a common goal of addressing climate change for sustainable development.
“We believe that in as much as the global economies are being disrupted, health systems and people being affected, there is the need for us as individual to think about how we need to be clean and cater for the environment as part of the actions to bring this coronavirus to a halt.
And whiles we are fighting Coronavirus in the short term, climate change is for the long term, and the actions we are taking to mitigate and adapt should be more focused even at this time than ever before,” says Environmentalist Kofi Adu Domfeh, who is convener of CLAP Gh.
The call is that there is the need for us to live in a clean and healthy environment which is very crucial to prevent most of the things that help the virus to grow will be curtailed.
As Ghana joins the rest of the World to mark World Environment Day, CLAP GH is reiterating the need for attention be also given to protecting the environment in the wake of COVID-19.
Climate Scientist at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Isaac K. Tetteh, admonishes the society to be mindful of its actions that might pollute the environment.
He emphasizes the importance for every individual to manage the micro environment because poor environmental quality makes the society susceptible to many diseases.
“Poor environmental quality can make us highly susceptible to many diseases in the environment. We need to look at our environment and keep it clean so that we don’t become vulnerable to the COVID-19 and other diseases. So we can enjoy infection-free environment”.
In the face of the COVID-19, at the individual level, the little we can do to protect the environment is to change our attitudinal behaviour towards the environment.
“We must adhere to strict etiquette (no spitting around) and coughing freely into the air, and indiscriminate nasal discharges around. This ‘normal’ practice in Ghana contributes much to polluting the environment,” Professor Tetteh added.
For the 21st century, we need not only address the classic issues related to our health like diarrhea diseases linked to lack of clean water, and lack of access to sanitation, but make sure that health issues are very critical on the environmental agenda.
Healthy environments are the key for better health and so both policy makers, our leaders and individuals must protect the environment by providing interventions at the environmental level to protect the future.
CoronaVirus Tree Planting
CLAP GH is therefore calling on individuals and groups to endeavor to plant trees to commemorate the World Environment Day celebration during this difficult time.
The “CoronaVirus Tree Planting” campaign is to encourage collective actions to protect the environment even us we go through this pandemic.
CLAP Gh believes the world must not lose sight of the need to take collective action on climate adaptation and mitigation.
About CLAP Gh
CLAP Gh is an environmental group that mobilizes young professionals to become part of the momentum created by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to partner all interest groups to share knowledge and take action.
KOFI ADU DOMFEH
Media and Communications,
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CLAP GH…Local Solutions for Global Impacts