World Health Day 2022: The Environment & Your Health + Five Ways You Can Help

world health day

April 7, 2022, is World Health Day. The day is a global health awareness day celebrated by the World Health Organisation. This year, the theme is Our Planet, Our Health. The focus is on the steps we can take to keep our planet healthy. In doing this, we will keep humans healthy too.

Although it may not seem like it, society plays a huge role in the overall health of its people. 

A fast-paced city with poor waste management systems, poor air quality and high-stress levels will have fewer healthy people.

The situation cited above is commonplace in most Nigerian cities. There are many factors in our society that affect our health adversely. Some common examples are listed below:

Flooding

Cities all over Nigeria like Lagos, have been battling floods. According to NEMA, over 2 million people were affected by floods in 2020. Flooding can affect your health directly or indirectly. A flood can lead to death or disrupt health services and make it difficult to access vital health services. In addition, floods destroy businesses and valuable property, causing people to fall into financial distress. Ergo, such affected people may find it difficult to access health services since most of our healthcare in Nigeria is on an Out-Of-Pocket basis.

Air Pollution

The quality of air in many Nigerian cities is poor. For example, Port-Harcourt is a major city in Nigeria with black soot constantly in the air. This level of air pollution can lead to an increase or worsening of symptoms of respiratory diseases like asthma and COPD. Research has also shown that air pollution can lead to cardiovascular disease and an increased risk of breast cancer.

Poor Waste Disposal

Improper waste disposal can lead to an outbreak of communicable diseases like cholera. Poor waste disposal can also worsen flooding due to blocked drainages, leading to stagnant pools of water that serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

While there are many more ways that our society affects our health, you can play your part in ensuring that your environment is healthy.

Here are some ways you can help keep your environment healthy

Only throw trash in the waste bin.

When you throw plastic bottles, pure water sachets, biscuit wrappers or plastic food packs on the street, you contribute to and worsen the flooding problem. Even if there is no waste bin around you, you can always hold onto whatever you want to dispose of until you see a waste bin or get home and thrash the item.

Keep your environment clean.

Doing this involves clearing blocked drainages around your home and eliminating any stagnant pools of water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in them.

Reduce Your Contribution To Air Pollution

While companies play a part in air pollution, you also contribute to it. Open burning of refuse, use of poorly serviced cars and generator sets are some ways you may be worsening the air pollution where you live. 

Plant a tree

If you have space in your compound (people living in Lagos, I know you don’t have space) you can plant a tree or start a garden. If you don’t (Lagos people) you can buy a pot plant. Plants remove Carbon dioxide from the air, and they also improve the quality of the air.

Recycle Plastics & Items

You can reduce the amount of plastic bags you buy by reusing them. Also, you can repurpose plastic plates used for your meals at home. In addition, you can give recycling agencies in Nigeria your plastic waste. Some of these companies offer money for your plastic waste.

In conclusion, there are many ways the environment can affect your health, and this World Healthy Day, we want you to learn the actions you can take to ensure that your environment remains safe and healthy for living.

You can read other general health articles here.

>