Sunday, August 13, 2017

Air Pollution Contributes to the Leading Causes of Morbidity and Mortality in the Philippines

Exposure to air pollution has been known to cause adverse health effects. According to an article on air pollution and population health, "high-risk subgroups include young children, the elderly, persons with predisposed diseases, and persons with low socioeconomic status (SES)." It then isn't hard to see how consequential air pollution has been on the people of the Philippines. Approximately 37% of its population are either young children or are elderly, with about 21.6% of the total population living below the national poverty line. This makes a great amount of the country high-risk to exposure of air pollution and its following negative health effects.

In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total of 5.9 million deaths in SE Asia linked to both indoor and outdoor air pollution. These deaths were attributed to diseases such as ischemic heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and acute lower respiratory infections. In the Philippines, the leading causes of morbidly in 2008, such as acute respiratory infection, bronchitis, and tuberculosis, are diseases consisting of risks that are increased with exposure to air pollution.

The leading causes of mortality in 2006 also consisted of diseases where exposure to air pollution contributes to increased risk. These diseases include heart diseases, tuberculosis, and chronic lower respiratory diseases.

In the Philippines where the country is stricken by both high pollution levels and high population densities, its people are at greater risk of the health effects caused by exposure to air pollution. In order to take on the problems leading the list of morbidity and mortality in the Philippines, it is important to address the factor that has contributed to many of those diseases: air pollution.

More information on the health effects of air pollution can be found here:
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2698272/
http://hiip.wpro.who.int/portal/Countryprofiles/Philippines/Healthprofiles/TabId/170/ArtMID/912/ArticleID/41/Default

You can find more statistics on the poverty in the Philippines and other SE Asian countries here:
https://www.adb.org/countries/philippines/poverty

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