We need concerted efforts in tackling air pollution — Mrs Bawumia
The wife of the Vice-President, Mrs Samira Bawumia, has called for concerted efforts in tackling air pollution and its resultant ailments.
She cited the inability of African countries to meet the air quality guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and said "about 97 per cent of cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants in developing countries do not meet WHO air quality guidelines."
This, she explained, was dragging the fight against air pollution because it was almost impossible to know the magnitude of resources to commit to tackle the menace.
Mrs Bawumia made the call at the plenary opening of a WHO conference on Air Pollution and Health in Geneva, Switzerland.
She stressed on the need for increased discussions on effects of air pollution, saying ‘let us continue with this conversation while placing emphasis on the target regions.
Let us engage African leaders, policy makers, experts and civil societies because local solutions requires local participation and ownership.”
Mrs Samira, commended WHO for bringing together, global, national and local partners to share knowledge and mobilise action for cleaner and better health.
Mrs Bawumia is a global ambassador for Clean Cooking Alliance, a Public-Private Partnership hosted by the United Nations Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women and protect the environment.
According to her, about seven million deaths resulting from diseases such as stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary, lung cancer and acute lower respiratory infections, which are all ripple effects of air pollutions, occured among populations living in settings exceeding the WHO's air quality limits.
Mrs Bawumia is running a not-for-profit organisation dubbed Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Project (SEHP).
The organisation is aimed at empowering the underprivileged in Ghana through diverse social intervention projects to improve lives.
It has also initiated a number of interventions in the areas of health, education and women empowerment.
Notable among the organisation’s programmes is ‘Safe delivery project” which seeks to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in deprived communities.
Under the programme, 100,000 birth kits would be presented to expectant mothers in their third trimester in deprived communities where traditional birth attendants and other health workers were also being trained.
The SEHP has also equipped selected health facilities with medical consumables and surgical equipment.
On education, the SEHP’s ‘Library-In-A-Box’ project has also distributed 35,000 books to 35 schools in seven regions acros the country.