The Environment and Our health

September 19, 2023

Growing up, we were all taught that the key to healthy living is a clean environment…but we often focus on the prevention of ill health rather than tackling the root cause. A healthy environment is a healthy society. The environment generally is the immediate surroundings or conditions where one lives or operates. So one’s environment differs from another , it varies. Let’s see how this relates with health.

According to the world health organization WHO/NEHA, “Environmental health is the science (practice) of preventing human injury and illness and promoting well-being by identifying and evaluating environmental sources and hazardous agents and limiting exposures to hazardous physical, chemical, and biological agents in air, water, soil, food, and other environmental factors that may adversely affect human health”.

Environmental health deals an interrelationship between people and their environment which promotes human health and well being. I like to call this relationship bi-beneficial which relates to a symbiotic relationship. The environment gets all the care and nutrients it needs and in turn it’s supplies us with what we need, good health. If we take care of our immediate surroundings we get good stuff back in return; especially the clean and clear air which we often take for granted.

There are so many risk factors that exposes us to ill health in our environment, it’s either at work, school or even at home. Such factors include inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene.

It is common knowledge that when the drainage is kept clean at all times, the possibility of getting malaria due to mosquito bites is down to the barest minimum; this is is because the unkept drainage and environment encourages breeding of mosquitoes.

Water is a basic requirement for a healthy environment. It makes clean and washes away. The water source for consumption is also important; clean and well treated septic tanks and reservoirs provides about 95% clean water. Clean water results in low manifestation of diarrhea and other water borne infections. Old, broken pipes and exposure to poor drainage systems results in lead and bacteria poisoning.

One of the overlooked factors resulting in health issues is Proper Personal Hygiene (PPH). It is seen evident with the emergence of Covid-19 which hit the world in December 2019.

Something as simple as washing of hands can save one from contacting infection and diseases.

In all these, it’s the little things we do daily for the environment that benefits our health. Do well to remember this…