New WHO health and environment dashboards for over 60 countries provide an illustrated overview of where countries stand in managing six major environmental threats to health: air pollution, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), climate change, chemical exposure, radiation, and occupational health.
Against a healthy baseline in each category, the scorecards highlight the extent of the most pressing issues in this country in each area; the health impacts of not meeting these targets and the policies that are or should be in place to address the issues.
Their ultimate goal is to help countries and national decision-makers identify priorities and areas requiring significant attention and resources.
The dashboards have been developed as part of a broader set of documents to strengthen concrete action on health and the environment, including the extensive WHO Compendium and other United Nations guidance on health and the environment which provides concrete measures that can be implemented in various fields.
“If a policy maker has identified, as highlighted in the dashboards, a high disease burden due to air pollution in their country, for example, then they can turn to the WHO Compendium and d “Other United Nations guidance on health and environment and other forms of WHO support offers concrete practical steps,” said Dr Annette Prüss-Ustün, Unit Chief, Policy and Interventions for Health and Environment, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, World Health Organization.” The information provides a snapshot of where countries stand, without the need to consult many sources of additional data.”
The term “dashboards
The term “score card” refers to the declaration of a status. National values, such as the concentration of fine particles in the air or the percentage of the population with access to drinking water, can also be compared with reference values that highlight the potential health gains that can be realized. The accompaniment reading guide provides more details.
The dashboards will be updated frequently, allowing countries to track their progress, but also to compare their performance with other countries in the same region.
“Dashboards are intended to provide individual governments with summary information to view their own health and environmental status at a glance,” Prüss-Ustün added. “It also provides support for measuring progress in an easy-to-communicate way. Dashboards help measure and indicate areas that need urgent action. »
Accompanying analysis beyond the dashboard
The WHO Compendium and other UN guidance on health and the environment provides over 500 practical actions from over 400 reports and guidelines to improve health by creating healthier environments.
In the reading guideeach section of the dashboard, corresponding to the six domains of environmental determinants of health presented, is linked to the relevant chapters of this Compendium.
Other documents containing more general information on health and the environment and the main environmental risks are also available, such as the brochure “Healthy environments for healthier populations: why they are important and what can they do ?”.
Dashboards contain data that has already been made available to countries and do not include new data. They summarize and present previously published data in a user-friendly overview, especially for busy policy makers and other relevant stakeholders.
Health and environmental scorecards will soon be developed for other countries.