More than 1 in 4 deaths of children under 5 years of are attributable to unhealthy environments. Every year, environmental risks – such as indoor and outdoor air pollution, second-hand smoke, unsafe water, lack of sanitation, and inadequate hygiene – take the lives of 1.7 million children under 5 years, say new WHO report.
Top 5 causes of death in children under 5 years linked to the environment. The report, Don't pollute my future! The impact of the environment on children's health, provides a comprehensive overview of the environment’s impact on children’s health, illustrating the scale of the challenge.
Ø 5,70,000 children under 5 years die from respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, attributable to indoor and outdoor air pollution, and second-hand smoke;
Ø 3,61,000 children under 5 years die due to diarrhoea, as a result of poor access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene;
Ø 2,70,000 children die during their first month of life from conditions, including prematurity, which could be prevented through access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene in health facilities as well as reducing air pollution;
Ø 2,00,000 deaths of children under 5 years from malaria could be prevented through environmental actions, such as reducing breeding sites of mosquitoes or covering drinking-water storage;
Ø and 2,00,000 children under 5 years die from unintentional injuries attributable to the environment, such as poisoning, falls, and drowning.