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Increase In Respiratory Illness Cases With Rise In Air Pollution: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya

Cases of respiratory illness rise during periods when air quality worsens, preliminary observations from the surveillance data of various hospitals suggest, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya

Increase In Respiratory Illness Cases With Rise In Air Pollution: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya
Air pollution is one of the major contributing factors for respiratory ailments

New Delhi: Preliminary observations from the surveillance data of various hospitals suggest that there is an increase in respiratory illness cases during periods when air quality worsens, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday (December 19). The National Programme on Climate Change and Human Health of the National Centre for Disease Control has initiated surveillance on acute respiratory illnesses through sentinel surveillance sites, established in nearly 80 hospitals across 18 states. This surveillance is meant to observe the trends of acute respiratory illnesses reported from sentinel hospitals of cities in relation to the respective air quality levels, Mr Mandaviya said in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday (December 19). He said,

Preliminary observations from such data suggest that there is an increase in respiratory illness cases during periods when air quality worsens.

The ARI digital surveillance data was started in August 2023 through Integrated Health Information portal, Mr Mandaviya said.

Also Read: Crop Residue Burning Must Stop, Judicial Monitoring Needed To Check Pollution: Supreme Court

That Air pollution is one of the major contributing factors for respiratory ailments and associated diseases is common knowledge.

There is no doubt that health of human body, including the respiratory system are additionally impacted by number of other factors which include food, occupation, medical co-morbidity, immunity and heredity, etc., of the individuals also. Responding to a question, Mr Mandaviya said,

The association between air pollution and obstructive lung disease is well established.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in collaboration with Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and Institute of Health Matrix and Evaluation (IHME) had conducted a study titled “The impact of air pollution on deaths, disease burden and life expectancy across India” in 2018.

The ICMR has also conducted a multi-site study to document acute effect of increase in air pollution on respiratory morbidity.

The study was conducted on patients attending emergency room of five sites namely AIIMS (paediatric, adults), Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital, VP Chest Institute, National institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases.

Also Read: Outdoor Air Pollution Accounts For Over 2 Million Deaths Annually In India: BMJ Study

For purpose of this study, air pollution was divided into three clusters (high, medium and low pollution days). A total of 33,213 which constituted 12.6 per cent of number of patients who visited emergency rooms were identified and enrolled with complete data collection. Mr Mandaviya stated,

Analysis suggested that there was an increase in the number of patients attending emergency rooms with increase in pollution levels. Effect was more pronounced in children.

The minister also listed several steps that have been taken to address air pollution issues.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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