150 per 100,000 Nigerians Die From Air Pollution-Health Report

World Environment Day is celebrated on the 5th of June every year. It was created by the United Nations to raise awareness about the environment and

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World Environment Day is celebrated on the 5th of June every year. It was created by the United Nations to raise awareness about the environment and encourage people all over the World to protect and care for it. The first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1974 in Spokane, USA. Since 1974, the WED has been hosted by different cities in 25 countries. Each year, the WED seeks to address an environmental problem. The Theme for WED 2019 is “Beat Air Pollution”.

Air is a vital aspect of life. It sustains humans, animal and plant life. We cannot exist without air. The cells in the human body require air to breakdown complex organic molecules to produce energy for daily functions. Air is an important factor which must be present for seed germination to take place. Air is life. Air, which is a gift of life, is clean and safe for humans, but due to industrialization and poor agricultural practices, air is gradually losing its safe characteristics. When the quality of air is altered, it could lead to drastic consequences on life. Air pollution is the introduction of harmful substance (e.g. gases and dust particles) into the atmosphere in a way that is harmful to human and animals.

Air quality is altered by the quality of particulate matter in the atmosphere. The W.H.O guideline stipulates that pm 10 must not exceed 20 microgram/m3 annual mean or 50 microgam 24-hour mean. According the World Health Organization (WHO) report of 2016, four of the worst cities in the world for air pollution are in Nigeria. Onitsha was named as the World’s most polluted city for air quality, when measuring small particulate matter concentration (PM10). The other three cities mentioned were Kaduna, Aba and Umuahia.

In 2015, the World Bank declared that 94 per cent of the population in Nigeria is exposed to air pollution levels that exceed WHO guidelines, and air pollution damage costs about one per cent post of Gross National Income. According to the Global Air Report published y Health Effects Institute (HEI), Nigeria  has the highest number of air pollution related deaths in Africa. The air people breathe in Nigeria is more likely to cause harm than the air in any other country in Africa and fourth highest in the World with a static of 150 deaths per 100,000 people.

Being a speech delivered to commemorate WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY BY MR. PATRICK UDUMA (MD, ICREN SERVICES).

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