Household air pollution major contributor to NCDs: WHO

ISLAMABAD: Household air pollution (HAP) which is a major contributor to lower respiratory tract infections in children and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adults, remains a neglected issue, WHO said.

Reduction in HAP will be added as the tenth target in the global action plan for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), said World Health Organisation (WHO) in a statement, IRNA news Agency Quoted.

The target calls for 50 percent reduction in households using solid fuels like wood, crop residue, dried dung, coal and charcoal as primary cooking source, it said.

Other adverse effects of HAP include tuberculosis, cataract, cerebrovascular disease and poor maternal outcome, including still births, WHO said adding that an estimated 3.5 million deaths in 2010 were attributed to HAP globally.

The other nine voluntary global targets stress on 25 percent relative reduction in overall mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease, at least 10 percent reduction in harmful use of alcohol, 30 percent reduction in tobacco use in persons aged over 15 years and a halt in rise of obesity.

All these targets are to be achieved by 2025, the statement said.

According to WHO, four major NCDs like cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes together kill the largest number of people in the region.

NCDs take a huge toll on national economies and disproportionately affect poor, impoverished families and are a growing burden on health systems, pti quoted Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia as saying.

These targets are ambitious goals and demonstrate that governments are serious about reducing NCDs, he added.

Health ministers from 11 countries will meet at the 66th session of WHOs Regional Committee for South-East Asia here between September 11 and 13 to chalk out an action plan for prevention and control of NCDs.