‘Health and environment interdependent’
PUTRAJAYA: Poor sanitation and unhygienic public activities have caused the spread of vector-borne diseases.
Health Minister Datuk Seri S Subramaniam said stagnant water sources and an environment that is not sanitised have become the contributing factors in the spread of dengue, malaria, chikungunya and Japanese encephalitis in the country.
This could be attributed to water shortage issues where although Malaysia has ample water resources, the supplies are still affected due to high demand, he said.
“This situation arises following increased population as well as various activities that are causing pollution to the existing water resources,” he said when opening the National Environmental Health Action Plan conference here yesterday. Living in this kind of environment and unhygienic lifestyle have caused high risks especially among young people. He noted that in just one week there were five fatalities due to dengue and the victims were mostly in their 20s.
The issue of health and environment are interdependent and can influence each other, he said.
Similarly he noted that environmental health and development are interdependent as well.
He said poorly planned development can cause extreme health hazards such as air, water, food, soil and chemical pollution. These eventually cause health risks like breathing and cardiovascular problems, physiological and neurological issues as well as increase in various types of cancers. – by Karen Arukesamy