Combination of air pollution and COVID-19 can cause more health risksSociety
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. Leading experts, policymakers, development partners and private sector have gathered at a high level consultative meeting “Air pollution in times of the pandemic” today to discuss air pollution reduction policies and programmes in Mongolia.
The dialogue organized by Parliamentary Sub-standing committee on Air Pollution Reduction and UNICEF Mongolia, in cooperation with World Health Organization and UNDP and with the support of Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency aims to reflect on key measures towards reducing air pollution, exchange best practices and results and come up with recommendations to respond to air pollution in the context of human rights and during the pandemic.
COVID-19 puts people at higher risk combined with air pollution and impacts may be a greater risk of infection and more severe COVID-19 symptoms and outcomes. The research highlights that higher levels of fine particulate matter PM 2.5 are associated with higher death rates from COVID-19.
“in a time of the pandemic, we must ensure that air pollution reduction actions and measures taken by the Government of Mongolia reach their ultimate goal and objectives. We must pay attention to not only ambient air pollution, but also improving indoor air quality. With a vision to make a significant difference in the quality of air we breathe and create a healthy and and safe environment for everyone, we must approach the issue in a compressive manner, considering social, economic impacts as well as clean technology solutions. If successful, such approach could result in better air quality, but also helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, said Ms Saranchimeg.B, Member of the Parliament, and Chair of the Parliamentary substanding committee on Air Pollution Reduction
“While we rebuild from COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure that the gains made in reducing air pollution should not be reversed. Hence, COVID-19 key response and recovery plans and budgets should integrate policies and measures aimed at further protecting child and maternal health from air pollution” says Mr. Evariste Kouassi-Komlan, UNICEF Mongolia Representative.
The consultative meeting recommends more investment in reducing both indoor and outdoor air pollution to protect children including improving indoor air quality management in health facilities, schools, access to and investment for renewable forms of energy, avoiding coal fired Heat only Boilers to heat education and health facilities, shift from coal to clean technology.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Ariunzaya Davaa, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Mongolia, +976-99112652, email@example.com
For more on the conference, please visit: http://airpollution-health.unicef.mn/