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What percentage of global deaths are attributed to unhealthy environments?



what is The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of health?

a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.


disease are often distinguished as what?

-communicable (infectious like malaria and aids)
-non-communicable ( non-infectious like heart disease, cancer)


what are the consequences of poor health?

-limits productive opportunities
-reduces length and quality of life
-contributes to economic burden and poverty cycle


examples of burden of diseases from unhealthy environments?

-exposure to air pollution, and indoor pollution from cookstoves using biomass.
- infectious diseases of zoonotic or animal origin like rabies.
- toxic chemical exposure through drinking water and food sources which are linked to cancer and death.
- extreme weather like drought and hurricane events threaten pop and impact water and food security.
- Ebola virus, aids, etc
- climate change


how can material dimension contribute to human health (well-being) ?

-contributions like traditional medicines for treatments
- the nutrients needed for proper functioning
- spaces for recreation and physical activity.


how can relational dimension contribute to human health (well-being) ?

-contribute to social determinants of health


how can subjective dimension contribute to human health (well-being) ?

- direct access to medical care and natural areas can support mental and emotional health


What are the social determinants of disease challenges from unhealthy environments?

-a portion of global population is over-fed while the others suffer from malnutrition.
-diarrheal disease is still a leading cause of death in children under 5 (20%)


what are the water and ecosystems and health of disease challenges from unhealthy environments?

cyanotoxins demonstrates this


explain cyanotoxins and its impacts on the ecosystem.

- excess nutrients in water (eutrophication) can lead to rapid accumulation of algae into "blooms"
-this blue green algae (cyanobacteria) produces a bloom which releases toxins into the water.
-these toxins can poison wildlife, contaminate drinking water reservoirs, damage other naturally occurring plants and accumulate in fish and shellfish.
-even swimming in water contaminated with high levels of cyanobacteria can be harmful.
cyanotoxins can cause liver or nervous system impacts, tumours or death in humans


what are the pollution of disease challenges from unhealthy environments? give examples

pollution effects can have effects on the endocrine, immune and neural system and pollutants can be carcinogenic (have the potential to cause cancer)
ex: ecosystem regime shifts (eutrophication, algal blooms)
- endangerments of specific species, some are more vulnerable to pollution.
- pollution directly affects human well-being (smog, air pollution).


what are the biomarks?

can indicate a disease or physiological state
-environmental sampling can also be conducted to monitor and identify potential exposure sources and risk (water, air , soil)


explain a pathogen (infectious disease)

- a pathogen may be a bacteria, virus, prion, or another type, and may have evolutionary features that promote its pathogenesis.
-a pathogen interacts with a host and the environment.
-disease ecology expects a pathogen to exploit as many niches (or hosts) as possible to increase its chances of survival.
-the host that comes into contact with a pathogen may or may not be immune depending on if they already had exposure to it.
-the environment provides all other determinants in the interaction (certain pathogens might be temperature-dependent, adequate sanitation systems may or may not be in place)


what are pathogen attributes of different factors influencing disease dynamics?

-bacteria, virus, prion, parasite, fungus
- genetic factors (determine how likely it is to infect someone, how long it persists under given conditions and the severity of disease.)


what are the host attributes of different factors influencing disease dynamics?

-immunity (vaccination)
- specific genetic factors- receptors, immune response
- behavioural risk factors


what are the environmental attributes of different factors influencing disease dynamics?

- environmental dispersion
- sanitation systems


how is health a CAS?

-trade and travel may create opportunities for pathogens to spread.
-urbanization changes the interaction between individuals in a population, facilitating more contact and more spread.
-within urban setting economic or other factors may affect exposures through housing condition, occupation, access to food and water, etc.


what is schistosomiasis?

a parasitic infection which can cause long-term damage to internal organs and stall childhood development.


what can lead to the growth of schistosomiasis?

large scale damming, irrigation systems, overfishing and other freshwater ecosystem alterations.


what are direct health effects of environmental changes and ecosystem impairment?

-water shortage
-exposure to pollutants


what are ecosystem- mediated health effects of environmental changes and ecosystem impairment?

-altered infectious disease risk
-reduced flood yields (undernutrition)
-mental health


what are indirect, deferred and displaced health effects of environmental changes and ecosystem impairment?

-diverse health consequences of livelihood loss
-population displacements (including slum dwelling)
-inappropriate adaptations and mitigation


what are examples of stresses on humans and other species?

-climate change
-habitat loss


why are vultures important for human and ecosystem health?

they scavenge on carcasses


Which of the following topics might be relevant to an environmental health professional

-lead contamination of soil or water resources
-algal blooms
-the introduction or establishment of invasive alien species
-air pollution levels in cities
-pesticide levels in agricultural produce


Which factors contribute to disease being a ‘wicked problem’?

-Disease risks may be caused by factors outside of the direct realm of public or global health.
-There may be multiple stressors on our health, as well as factors occurring at different scales.
- Our governance structures often approach health risks reactively and do not typically work across disciplines.


A reactive approach to public health threats focuses on disease threats once they occur. true or false?



Which of the following are examples of ecosystem changes that may impact human health?

- climate chane
-biodiversity loss
-land degradation


Which of the following represent ecosystem services that can positively contribute to our health?

-Pollination that supports crop production
-Watershed systems that replenish water sources
-Provision of natural resources for medicines or their compounds
- Mangroves that help mitigate impacts of coastal flooding events
- providing space for recreation