Health Desk-8 Nov, 2019: Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore has sought immediate action in South Asia to clean the air for children saying around 620 million children in the region breathe polluted, toxic air, reports UNB.
“I was just in South Asia where I saw firsthand how children continue to suffer from the dire consequences of air pollution. The air quality was at a crisis level,” she said in a statement on toxic air in South Asia on Thursday seeking urgent action to address this air quality crisis.
Fore said governments in the region and around the world should take urgent steps to reduce air pollution by investing in cleaner, renewable sources of energy to replace fossil fuel combustion; provide affordable access to clean public transport; increase green spaces in urban areas; change agricultural practices and provide better waste management options to prevent open burning of harmful chemicals.
“Children have a right to live in a clean environment and breathe clean air. We must act now,” she said.
Fore said anybody could smell the toxic fog even from behind an air filtration mask and from every neighborhood, one could see the pollution obscuring buildings, trees and people.
She said schools and offices closed or curtailed hours. “With winter approaching, the situation is set to become even worse.” The Unicef Executive Director said children have smaller lungs, breathe twice as fast as adults, and lack the immunities that come with age, children endure its damaging health and neurological effects the most.