Environmental Sustainability & Healthcare
Cross national border lines, whether it be in the United States or Taiwan, environmental health is a major concern due to an estimated 12.6 million people whose death was brought upon either because of living or working in an unhealthy environment in 2012, amassing one in four of total global deaths (World Health Organization, 2017). Furthermore, environmental risk factors including climate change, ultraviolet radiation, water and soil pollution, and various chemical exposures are contributing to more than one hundred injuries and diseases (World Health Organization, 2017).
To better the global public’s knowledge of environmental health, The Lancet, a United Kingdom medical journal is releasing a new journal, The Lancet Planetary Health, focusing on human health within the context of climate change. The journal will build upon upon the foundation of The Rockefeller-Lancet Commission on planetary health, and is currently spearheaded by the journal’s editor-in-chief, Raffaella Bosurgi. Bosurgi pronounced through a podcast, “The environmental changes to the water, to the land, to the climate, are really challenging life on Earth … These will have serious implications for health, for well-being, if the way we interact with the planet doesn’t change” (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Global Health Now, 2017).
The Lancet Planetary Health and initiatives being taken by other organization such as the World Health Organization and the Red Cross are helping to shape a focus worldwide in reducing in reducing environmental and social risk factors, to bring upon the prevention of an estimated quarter of the global burden of disease. Examples of preventative measures include safer management of toxic substance in both the workplace and home, promotion of safe household water storage, and better hygiene practices. Moreover, to address the central environmental and social causes of ill-health that go beyond the scope of the health sector, various other sectors such as agriculture, energy, and transport must take action and work hand-in-hand with the health sector to best uphold environmental health (World Health Organization, 2017).
Roundtable Leaders: Jerome Siangco