World Environmental Health Day: History, Significance, Importance

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 24, 2022, 7:58

The earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.-John Paul 

Marked annually on September 26 International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH) acknowledged the day as World Environmental Health Day. It focuses on the importance of the work of environmental health. Environmental Health is a branch of public health that focuses on the health interrelationships between people and their environment. This day was declared in 2011 by IFEH. Although India is not a member of IFEH but is observed globally.

This day is holding a spotlight on the ways human health is affected. It is a day dedicated to pondering upon and working on all things that impact environmental health but from the perspective of relating to the environment. In other words, assessment and control of environmental factors can potentially affect human health. Each year, IFEH places a different theme on World Environmental Health Day. This day promotes human health and well being by fostering a safe and healthful environment both built and natural.

Climate Change

 It ultimately makes it a health emergency when it comes to Climate. From extreme weather to heat waves to climate change, it is just indicating one thing - how much we need to pay attention to the climate. These days when a pandemic has widespread, the attention that has to be paid should be more. Undoubtedly, climate change has now become a public health issue and we need to overcome this together for the sake of environmental health.

Environmental public health tracking

We could not judge anything without the data. Hence, this environmental health made us ponder upon the data related to it. It needs to be correct, accurate, comprehensive and easily understandable.

Empowering Environmental Health Professionals

Advancing the field of environmental health is a very important task to perform. The major factor where it lacks is having professional employees. They are less in number. Fewer professionals mean lack of resources, increased responsibility and limited visibility. Apart from this, the concept of environmental health is not understood by the public. The professionals need to engage in a meaningful and robust conversation with the public telling them how much important this thing is.

Healthy Community Design

This is not hidden from anyone that the riches are less exposed than the poor when it comes down to environmental health. The need of the hour is to support even poor public and make them a healthy community. Availing of all the necessary facilities can help the under privilege communities to expose less. Affordable and safe homes, access to safe and healthy food and water, other infrastructure, transportation etc.

Preventing Chemical Exposure

We know that the world is developing. The manufacturing factories are developing even more. But, at the same time, we cannot ignore the fact that it is exposing people more to toxic and chemical products. People are unaware of the threat that can be caused by chemical exposures. This needs to be dealt with.

Building an Understanding of Environmental Health

The most important factor that must be considered is building an understanding of environmental health. People can only focus on environmental health when they have an idea of what it is. The awareness should be spread among the people.

Children's Environmental Health:

Children are especially vulnerable to environmental health threats because they are less resistant to infection and are at a higher risk of injury from accidents at homes and schools. They need more safeguards to make them environmentally healthy.  

To sum up, in everything that has been discussed so far, overall environmental health needs to be maintained and enhanced to protect human beings from diseases and other agents that affect their health. Equality must be established when it comes to the protection of environmental health. Awareness must be spread among people. Tracking environmental pollutants is the key to figuring out where and how people are exposed. Laws and policies to many different types of pollution can also help prevent many serious health problems and deaths.

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FAQs About World Environmental Health Day

  • What was the theme of World Environmental Health Day in 2021?

Ans: Prioritizing Environmental Health for healthier communities in the global recovery.

  • What are the three most important types of environmental health?

Ans: Health impacts, air quality and water and sanitation.

  • What are the examples of Environmental health?

Ans: Clean Air, safe drinking water, nutritious food and a safe place to live.