Paediatric Society of Ghana urges gov’t to take urgent steps to save children from air pollution

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The Paediatric Society of Ghana (PSG) has pleaded to the Government to take steps towards reducing air pollution to help childhood morbidity and mortality.

The society also urged the Government to try to attain the World Health Organisation’s target of 5 mcg/m3 of PM2.5 (minute particulate matter in air from combustion, organic matter and metals). 

The society said this in a communique published at the end of its 2023 Annual General and Scientific Meeting (AGSM) held in Kumasi from February 2 to 4, after extensive deliberations. 

It was on the topic : “Environmental Health and Children’s Well-Being: A Shared Responsibility.” 

The communique, was signed by Dr John Adabie Appiah, President, and Dr Angela Osei-Bonsu, the General Secretary, of PSG.

According to them, locally relevant research was urgently needed on air pollution issues and their effect on children. 

“While awaiting the conduct of these studies, work must commence to improve public transport, reduce dust from our roads and incorporate pollution prevention measures in the planning of urban areas,” it said .

“Reducing the exposure of children to air pollutants is necessary at home, at schools, and in the general environment.”

The communique talked about the UN Convention on the rights of the child, Article 24, which states that: “Children have the right to the best healthcare possible, clean water to drink, healthy food and a clean and safe environment to live in.” 

The Society also talked about how the ‘galamsey’ menace is destroying the country’s forests, land, and water bodies and contributing significantly to the deaths of children exposed to chemicals used in mining. 

“This canker must not be allowed to fester, or we will have ourselves to blame and posterity will not forgive us. Time is running out, we must act now, and we must act together in a concerted manner,” the communique reads.

“Half-hearted solutions will certainly fail. In conclusion, we would like to point out that time is not on our side, we must act now, and we must act together.”

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