The World Health Organization’s Center for Environmental Health Action (WHO- CEHA) is aiming to operationalize the regional framework for action on health and environment 2019-2023 and increase the capacity of countries in assessing the health impact of air pollution.
For this purpose, the WHO -CEHA organized a regional meeting between December 1 and 4, 2019, in Amman, Jordan. Representatives of ministries of health from the region, universities, League of Arab States, other organizations, the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, and some of the WHO Country Offices participated in this meeting. Countries represented at the meeting were Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, and Yemen. A delegation from GHD/EMPHNET was also present in this meeting.
Plenary sessions presented priorities of the regional framework of action, emerging environmental issues, and the burden of air pollution on health in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Discussion tackled gaps and challenges facing countries in implementing measures related WASH, air quality, food safety, occupational health, climate change, chemical safety, and waste management.
Country focal points presented on their national plans on health and environment, and also on health impact assessments of air pollution in their country. The workshop allocated some time for demonstrations of WHO databases on air pollution and health, WHO air quality modeling and guidelines, health impact assessment of air pollution. It also allowed participants to practice using AirQ+ using real data from countries.
Of significance, the ISEE Eastern Mediterranean (EM) Regional Chapter was launched during this workshop where members of the chapter met for the first time to discuss pertinent environmental health issues facing the region.