Doctors join hands to advocate for clean air

Doctors warned that declining air quality correlates with increased risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory disorders.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Lung Care Foundation, in partnership with Health Care Without Harm, launched ‘Doctors for Clean Air’ (DFCA) campaign on Tuesday.

The partnership brings together more than 50 senior doctors from across the country to pledge to be advocates for clean air by highlighting the ill-effects of air pollution on health and asking citizens and governments to work towards clean air.

“The DFCA aims to create a platform with doctors from every State. Twelve leading national medical associations, representing over 1.5 lakh specialist doctors, will work for the project,” stated a release issued by the group.

A recent Lancet report claimed that half-a-million deaths in India are due to ambient air pollution.

The World Health Organization has stated that 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds permissible limits, majority being in developing and under-developed nations.

The World Health Organization’s list of 20 most polluted cities in the world features 14 cities from India.

Arvind Kumar, founder and managing trustee of the Lung Care Foundation, said: “Air pollution is a major issue affecting millions of Indians. It is time for medical professionals to lend their voice for raising awareness about the devastating health impact of air pollution through their interaction with patients.”

Risk factors

The United Nation recently recognised air pollution as a key risk factor for non-communicable diseases, adding it as an environmental risk along with tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity.

“Declining air quality correlates with increased risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory disorders, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Initiatives like the Doctors for Clean Air plan on influencing union and State-level policymakers, administrators on the magnitude of the problem, and making air pollution a national health issue,” noted the release.

President of the Public Health Foundation of India K.S. Reddy said, “As care providers who are confronted regularly with rising burden of many diseases resulting from air pollution, doctors have to become energetic advocates for clean air.”

“The medical community is best positioned to communicate the gravity of this public health emergency to the policymakers and the public,” he added.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 9:42:52 PM |

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