The new WHO Health and Environmental Reporting Cards for more than 60 countries provide an illustrated snapshot of where countries stand in terms of managing six major environmental health threats: air pollution, water pollution, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), amendment climate change, exposure to chemicals, radiation, and occupational health.
Compared to the healthy baseline in each category, the scorecards highlight the extent of the most pressing issues in this country in each area; the impact on health of non-compliance with these objectives and the policies that are or should be put in place to address the problems.
Their ultimate goal is to help countries and national politicians identify priorities and areas that need attention and resources.
The results have been developed as part of a larger package of materials to strengthen concrete actions on health and the environment, including a comprehensive collection of WHO and other UN guidelines on health and the environment, which provide concrete measures that can be applied in different areas.
“If politicians have identified, as highlighted in the scorecards, a high burden of disease due to air pollution in their country, for example, they can turn to the WHO Compendium and other UN guidelines on health and the environment and other support. The WHO proposes concrete practical steps, “said Dr Annette Pruss-Ustyun, Head of Health and Environment Policies and Interventions, Environment, Climate Change and Health, World Health Organization. “The information provides a snapshot of where the countries are located without the need to consult many additional data sources.”
The term ‘scorecards
The term “scorecard” refers to status reporting. Country values, such as the concentration of air pollution with fine dust particles, or the percentage of the population that has access to safe drinking water, can also be compared to baseline values that highlight the potential health benefits that can be made. . The accompanying reading guide provides more details.
The results will be updated frequently, allowing countries to track their progress, but also to compare their performance with other countries in the same region.
“Indicative maps aim to provide individual governments with summary information to see their own health and the state of the environment at a glance,” Pruss-Ustyun added. “It also provides support for measuring progress in a way that is easy to communicate. The results help with measurement and point to areas that require urgent action. ”
Accompanying analysis beyond Scorecard
The WHO Compendium and other UN guidelines on health and the environment provide more than 500 practical actions from over 400 reports and guidelines for improving health by creating a healthier environment.
In the reading guide, each section of the scorecard corresponding to the six presented areas of environmental determinants of health is linked to the relevant chapters of this collection.
Additional material with more general information on health and the environment and the main risks to the environment is also available, such as the brochure Healthy Environment for a Healthier Population: Why Do They Matter and What Can They Do?
The results contain data already provided to countries and do not include new data. They summarize and present already published data in a user-friendly overview, especially for busy politicians and other stakeholders.
Health and environmental assessment maps for additional countries will soon be developed.