#Article (Archive)

WHO AND UNEP Join Forces to Combat Environment Related Diseases

Aug 26, 2008, 7:11 AM | Article By: By Pa Modou Faal

The first inter-ministrial conference on health and environment in Africa will be held in Libreville, Gabon, from the 26th - 29th  of August 2008 under the slogan " Health security through healthy environment".

The conference jointly organsined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is expected to attract hundreds of delegates including health ministers, ministers of environment, high -level experts, academics, policy makers, bilateral and multilateral institutions and NGO's

The conference, the first of its kind in Africa, aims to secure political commitment for catalyzing an integrated approach to policy and obtaining the institutional and investment changes required to reduce environmental threats to health.

Dr Luis Sambo, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said African countries share common ecosystem and the impact of the environment on health transcends national borders. For this reason accelerated efforts are required to deal with the outbreak of diseases caused by environmental health risks and climate change.

According to him, the conference is a step towards future collaborative efforts between the WHO and UNEP and ministries of health and environment to implement integrated activities that promote health and sustainable development.

Angela Cropper, deputy director UNEP, said evidence that ecosystems, species and the quality of the environment relate to human health has been increasing, there is however a lag in concerted policy and action to address this relationship.