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Challenges of air pollution discussed on first International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

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Senior Correspondent

BHOPAL: Call to create awareness on pollution, deaths due to air pollution and impact on respiratory illness and cardiovascular diseases among adults, women and children was issued at a media meet on first International Day of Clean Air for Blues skies was organized on Monday by UNICEF office of Madhya Pradesh.

The main speaker was Dr Rajashree Bajaj, state nodal officer, National Program for Climate Change & Human Health (NPCCHH) of MP Directorate for Health She made a presentation on the challenges of air pollution.

Quoting from district composite vulnerability data on climate change of the State Knowledge Management Centre on Climate Change of Environmental Planning and Coordination Organisation (EPCO), Dr Bajaj mentioned that eight districts of Madhya Pradesh are in very high vulnerability range, 17 in high vulnerability, 11 in moderate, 11 in low vulnerability and 3 in very low vulnerability range.

She added that one of the challenges of indoor pollution is use of household chullah (stove) using fire wood, which is a big cause of respiratory problems.  In Madhya Pradesh the average of households using clean fuel for cooking average is 29.6 % with Dindori at 4.0 % while Bhopal at 84.9 %.

She urged the media and radio jockeys who were part of the meet to highlight the challenge of air pollution and how as community and individuals play a role in dealing with it.

 Dr Vandana Bhatia, UNICEF Health Specialist, spoke on the challenges for children due to air pollution and called to decrease indoor pollution in places like hospitals, schools, work places and homes.

She also spoke on the need to monitor impact of air pollution and health by monitoring outpatient department (OPD) and in patient department (IPD) data for respiratory and cardiovascular illness during months with high air quality index (AQI).

Anil Gulati. Communication Specialist, UNICEF, Madhya Pradesh coordinated the meet and called to increase discourse on air pollution and its impact on lives of people particularly children and women.