As part of activities to mark this year’s edition of the International Health Day, the Centre for Journalism Innovation and DevelopmentPreviously known as Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, (PTCIJ), has announced a series of activities to improve Nigerians’ knowledge about the issues of environmental health and climate change.
Apart from its plan to train 20 journalists who are based in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, on health and environmental reporting between April 20 and 21, 2022, the organisation will also hold a TwitterSpaces event to discuss the impact of environmental hazards on the health of the people.
According to a statement released by the organisation through its human developmental programme, a professor at Nasarawa State University’s Faculty of Environmental Science, Keffi, Nasir Idris and Vivian Chime, a climate change reporter for The Cable newspaper, will participate in the discussions. Edwin-Isotu Edeh is a national consultant on public health and environment at WHO Nigeria.
The statement reads in part: “To mark this day, CJID is organising a Twitter Spaces event to discuss health and environmental policy issues towards a purposive sustainable goal. The event today is in support of a nation that is strong and healthy in the face a terrible climate crisis.
“Additionally, the CJID human development programme will be training 20 Abuja based journalists on Health and Environmental reporting on April 20 and 21, 2022.”
International Health Day
Since 1950, April 7 is observed annually to mark the anniversary of the founding and establishment of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The WHO created this celebration and its member countries actively celebrate it. They raise specific issues related to their member states. World Health Day was established in 1950 and has been a catalyst for awareness about maternal and child health issues and a growing focus on climate change.
The world is producing a third of the global greenhouse gas emissions due to the production of unhealthy and greasy foods, extreme weather events that lead to water shortages, and the pollution of large water bodies with plastics, untreated waste, and also causing more problems like cancer, heart disease, and obesity.
This year’s theme, Our Planet, Our Health, serves as a timely reminder of the link between the planet and health; with the current burden increase of infectious and non-communicable diseases alongside the growing incidence of climate-related challenges.
Climate change is manifesting as rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and more severe extreme weather.
WHO estimates that 13 million deaths annually worldwide are caused by preventable environmental causes, including climate change.
Climate change has direct implications on key determinants for health. It negatively impacts air and water quality, food security, human habitat and shelter all across the country.
Nigeria’s non-communicable illnesses are expected to overtake communicable conditions, maternal, neonatal and nutrition combined, to become the leading cause death by 2030.
The coronavirus -which has hampered many services such as routine vaccination and drugs for TB sufferers among others – also contributed to spiralling obesity. Diabetes hypertension rates, which compounds the problem, highlights the urgent need for a multidisciplinary response.
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