A focus on Latin America and the Caribbean
Growing evidence is demonstrating the links between environment and health. Water and sanitiation-related diseases are one of the leading causes of under-five mortality. Damage to women's health from indoor air pollution or from carrying heavy loads of water and fuelwood can make women less fit for childbirth and at greater risk of complications during pregnancy. Malaria, an annual killer of an estimated 1 million children under age five, may be exacerbated as a result of deforestation, loss of biodiversity and poor water management. Up to a quarter of the burden of disease worldwide is linked to environmental factors--primarily polluted air and water, lack of sanitation and vector-borne diseases, and measures to prevent damage to health from environmental causes are often more cost-effective than treatment of the resulting illnesses (UNEP-UNDP Poverty and Environment Initiative Handbook, adapted from DFID et all. 2002 and WHO 2008).
This section contains methodology to study the links between health and environment, otherwise called "GEO Health". It is aimed at users that wish to study health-environment links in more detail during the course of an environmental assessment, or those that wish to conduct a dedicated "integrated health and environmental assessment".
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