Between February 24 and 26, 2019, the Center for Environmental Health Action of the World Health Organization (WHO-CEHA) organized a regional meeting to explore establishing an early warning system for air pollution episodes and enhancing health messages communication during such episodes.
Taking place in Amman, Jordan, participating countries included Canada, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, and UAE. Participants were public health and air pollution experts from governments and universities. Representatives of United Nations Environment Program, EMPHNET, WHO EMRO, and WHO Jordan were also present. The WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr. Ahmed Al Mandhari also attended the meeting.
The participants discussed the evidence pertaining to impacts of air pollution on communicable and non-communicable diseases. Afterwards, they explored the availability of a communication system that could address such health risk of air pollution. Representatives of Canada, Cyprus, and the WHO South-East Asia Regional Office presented examples of such a communication system. The possibility of communicating these risks to the public was also explored.
The EMPHNET delegation participated in the technical discussion providing expert input, and explored potential collaborations in the area of measuring and responding to air pollution in countries of the region.