Title: THE CRITICAL NEED FOR ENHANCING THE RESEARCH CAPACITY REGARDING THE INTERSECTION OF AIR POLLUTION AND NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES IN GEORGIA.
Authors: Berg, C; Sturua, L
Published In Georgian Med News, (2020 Apr)
Abstract: Globally, 7 million deaths are attributable to the joint effects of indoor and ambient air pollution annually, with ~94% occurring in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While 51% of cities in high-income countries with ≥100,000 residents meet WHO air quality guidelines, only 3% of such cities in LMICs meet them. In the country of Georgia, adverse environmental exposures cause 21% of disease burden and 25% of deaths,including30% of disease burden and 14% of deaths among children. According to 2016 WHO data, Georgia's mortality index attributed to ambient and indoor air pollution was 204.9, the 3rd highest in the world. Indoor air pollution is largely a result of indoor cooking/heating using solid fuel and second hand smoke (SHS). Worldwide, 40% of children, 35% of female nonsmokers, and 33% of male nonsmokers are exposed to SHS. Annually, SHS exposure causes ~600,000 deaths (1% of mortality), with half of those deaths in women and over a quarter in children. LMICs are disproportionately impacted by SHS and related morbidity and mortality. In Georgia, the smoking prevalence is 58% in men (6th highest in the world) and 6% in women. Moreover, prior research found that 30% of Georgian adults were exposed the SHS in the past week in public places and 54% at home; 42% reported daily exposure. Georgia's 2017-2021 National Environment and Health Action Planhighlights that addressing air pollution is among the most prominent public health priorities. However, there is limited in-country capacity to conduct research regarding the impact of such environmental hazards on health. Thus, efforts must enhance such research capacity in order to reduce air pollution and its effects on health.
PubMed ID: 32535585
MeSH Terms: Adult; Air Pollution*; Air Pollution, Indoor/analysis*; Child; Environmental Exposure; Female; Georgia (Republic); Humans; Male; Noncommunicable Diseases*; Tobacco Smoke Pollution/analysis*