Workshops on Environmental Health
Environmental pollutants are recognised as an increasingly important health hazard. These include air pollution, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, electronic waste and bacteria and viruses spread through poor water and sanitation conditions. Children are especially vulnerable to environmental exposures through unique pathways - the placenta, breastfeeding, high-risk behaviour and through their living environments. World Health Organization (WHO) (2009) estimates that removing harmful environmental exposures would reduce India’s burden of disease by 24%.
Despite this widespread threat, there is limited knowledge about the risks of environmental exposures in children and pregnant women amongst health care professionals and researchers. While health professionals need to be aware and recognise the relevant signs and symptoms resulting from harmful exposures, researchers need to focus on improved methods of detection, appropriate and contextually–relevant interventions and strategies to reduce exposure to environmental hazards and effective advocacy to policy makers.
Objective of the workshop
- The workshop seeks to bring a focus to an important and contextually relevant area for future health and research – the environmental health of children.
- This will increase awareness of the developmental and environmental origins of children’s health and disease among the Indian medical and research fraternities.
- The faculty will use adapted WHO children’s environmental health training modules on environmental exposures and the health effects of environmental exposures in children, with case studies from India.
- A practical introduction to assessments of environmental effects using the WHO paediatric environmental history form.
- Clinical, community and national level interventions that could protect children from environmental exposures will also be discussed.
The workshop is open to anyone interested in public health research with an environmental focus – researchers, academics, physicians, health professionals, environmental scientists, social scientists and policy makers.