More than one in four deaths among children under five is due to unsafe drinking water, air pollution, passive smoking and poor hygiene, according to WHO.
According to two new reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) contaminating factors are to blame for 1.7 million deaths among infants every year.
– A polluted environment is a deadly one, especially for the little kids, says WHO Director Margaret Chan.
Children’s organs and immune systems are not fully developed; in addition the airways are narrower in young bodies.
Overall, this makes the smallest children particularly vulnerable to dirty water and polluted air, which in turn leads to some of the most common diseases fatal to children.
In the report “Inheriting a Sustainable World: Atlas on Children’s Health and the Environment” it is pointed out that some of the most common causes of death are diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria, all of which can be prevented with access to clean water.
In the report “Do not Pollute my future! The impact of the environment on children’s health” the extent of pollution effects on children’s health is mapped out.
It is estimated for example, that 570,000 children under five die each year of air pollution and passive smoking, while 361,000 die from diarrhoea because of unclean drinking water and poor hygiene.
A Further 270,000 babies die in the first few months because of pollution, both from air and soiled environment.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today