‘Health and en­vi­ron­ment in­ter­de­pen­dent’

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

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

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