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Mongolia's Air Pollution Crisis: A call to action to protection children's health
A joint report commissioned by the National Center for Public Health and UNICEF raises the alarm about the implications of air pollution on children’s health. The authors estimate that if Ulaanbaatar’s air pollution levels do not rapidly decrease in the coming years, the financial cost of treating air pollution related diseases in children is expected to increase 33 per cent by 2025. This means an additional cost of MNT 4.8 billion (just over US$2 million) per year for the public health system by 2025.
The report, “Mongolia’s air pollution crisis: A call to action to protect children’s health” calls for potential action to prevent and treat the health impact of air pollution, alongside a broader effort towards reducing the levels of air pollution.
The report recommends the following to reduce the impact of air pollution on children’s health:
-- Strengthen public education campaigns to raise awareness and improve understanding amongst the public on the health consequences of air pollution; protection measures; use of clean technology and fuels and early recognition of respiratory diseases among children.
-- Rollout of the Pneumococcal Vaccine that will have an immediate effect on the health of children exposed to air pollution as it protects against invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumonia.
-- Improve indoor air quality in public kindergartens, schools and hospitals where children spend a considerable amount of time.
-- Provide guidance to the public on the use and access to good quality face masks.
Furthermore, the report provides some medium and long-term recommendations to strengthen the health system as a whole, and provides recommendations for further research to better understand the health impacts.
Discussion / Working Paper