Emergency measures should be taken to obtain Clean Air for better health-Prof. Wasay


 World Brain Day 2018

Emergency measures should be taken to
obtain Clean Air for better health-Prof. Wasay

KARACHI: About 10% population of World is suffering from mental health and Environmental pollution especially air pollution is the major culprit. Air pollution is not a problem that only affects brain but also other parts of the body. Cleaning up the air we breathe would help to prevent various serious and common neurological disorders. Emergency measures should be taken to obtain Clean Air for better health. This was stated by Prof. Muhammad Wasay, President Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation (NARF) while addressing a press conference along with Prof. Zafar Fatmi, Prof. Arif Harekar and Dr. Abdul Malik in connection with World Brain Day which is observed on July 22nd, every year all over the World. “Clean Air for Brain Health” is the theme for the year 2018.

Continuing Prof. Wasay said that Air Pollution is a silent killer and about four hundred people die every day in Pakistan due to stroke and one hundred sixty one billion people have been effected due to air pollution Worldwide. The impact on health of environmental pollution, and air pollution in particular, is increasing all the time. Each and every one of us, every country in the World and the international community, he stated must see this as a wake-up call. Policymakers need to do more to tackle neurological disorders and diseases. Government should make brain health one of the highest-level healthcare priorities and provide additional funds to address the issue. We all have to do advocacy which will help to achieve better health goals, he added.

Dr. Zafar Fatmi informed that air pollution has very serious effects on our health and people are not aware about it. According to a study in 2015 about seven million deaths are occurring and air pollution is the major cause of it. Thirty present of the global stroke burden can be traced back to pollutants in the air. Very young age and old age groups are most affected. Young brain is the most venerable group. Initial one thousand days are very crucial for brain development and air pollution does not allow brain barrier to develop. Burning of waste and other stuff is the major cause of air pollution. Every individual can play his/her part in reduction of air pollution by different ways like reduction in fuel consumption, fuel quality, traffic management, proper use of machinery etc. National Environmental Quality Standard should be implemented by the Government, he added.

 Prof. Arif Hareker stated that Air pollution and environmental pollution is a potentially modifiable risk factor for some cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Its prevention is not only an individual concern but must be considered at the societal level. This emerging worldwide public health problem requires environmental health policies able to reduce air pollution to protect brain health. People in many countries have started use of bicycles, car-pooling etc. Tree plantation should be increased and use of Solar Electricity should be encouraged, he added.

Dr. Abdul Malik in his introductory remarks said that Neurology Awareness and Research Foundation has been active since ten years to create awareness regarding prevention and treatment of neurological disorders. Decisive changes in behaviour could significantly reduce the risks posed by environmental factors that cause brain health to deteriorate. This worldwide public health problem requires effective environmental and health-policy strategies aimed at reducing air pollution.

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