Environmental Health Promotion
This mini-blog series is part two of the “Environmental Health Promotion” project, which deals with global health challenges that are harmful to both the environment and people’s well-being. Its main goal is to raise public awareness about how we can take care of the environment and improve global health. It also offers ways for individuals to protect themselves from these issues. In the first part of the report, we looked at five global health concerns: Antibiotic Resistance, PFAS, Vaccines and Immunization, Microplastics, and Mycotoxins. This next section will explore E-Waste, Formaldehyde, Triclosan, Bisphenol A, and Phthalates. These concerns will be explained in detail, including what the problem is and what individuals can do to help solve it. Since there is only one planet Earth, all of us need to take action. By getting involved, each of us can play a part in preserving the health of our planet, ensuring that future generations can enjoy the same quality of life that we do.
The report addresses five global health concerns, and you can find additional information about them in our blogs or the full report.
The field of global health has gained significant attention recently due to various factors, including the increasing burden of diseases, the impact of climate change, and a growing awareness of health disparities worldwide.1 Despite the critical importance of sustainability in global health endeavors, the role of the environment in healthcare often goes unnoticed.2 Environmental pollution continues to be a significant concern, negatively affecting the health and overall quality of life for individuals, communities, families, and tribes.3
Global health and environmental health promotion are closely linked concepts that both aim to improve the well-being of people and communities worldwide. Global health involves worldwide efforts to prevent and manage diseases, make healthcare more accessible, and promote healthy living standards.4 On the other hand, environmental health focuses on protecting against health issues caused by environmental factors like air and water pollution, harmful substances, and the impacts of climate change.3
These two fields collaborate to tackle health disparities and improve health outcomes for everyone, regardless of their location, ethnicity, or economic circumstances. Some of their joint efforts include enhancing access to clean water and air, reducing the use of harmful chemicals, advocating for sustainable practices, and supporting community-led initiatives that promote health and well-being.5
The idea of “Environmental Health Promotion” bridges the gap between health and the environment. It’s a method that uses thorough health promotion techniques to recognize, evaluate, control, and prevent environmental factors that could harm the health and well-being of both present and future generations.6 Health promotion seeks to empower individuals by improving environmental and societal conditions and addressing the root causes of illness, rather than just concentrating on treatment and cure.7
What can we do?
It is a collective responsibility to safeguard the well-being and livability of our planet, respecting the efforts of past generations, our current commitments, and the needs of future generations. Despite global health challenges and environmental harm caused by industries and individuals, everyone can make a positive difference through small contributions. We can all contribute to preserving the planet’s health, ensuring that our children and future generations enjoy the same quality of life as we do. This requires ongoing education, mentoring others, and active community involvement. Even if you are personally unaffected by the global health issues discussed in this blog, you can share them within your network and remind those who might be impacted. Your knowledge and experience give you the power to help the vulnerable and those in need.
Author: Fion Chan*
Edited by: Jasmine Therese Arcilla
*Fion is SOGH’s Environmental Sustainability Manager. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and is pursuing a Master of Medical Science in Global Health at the University of Gothenburg.