Global warming, smog declared big problems of coming future during moot

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LAHORE: Global warming is a big issue due to which environmental pollution and smog are increasing day by day whereas the stakeholders of this crisis have to prepare themselves to face the challenges of the near future, speakers and public health experts of an awareness seminar on smog held at Institute of Public Health (IPH) on Tuesday warned.

The speakers included IPH Board of Management (BOM) Chairman Lt Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool, P&D Department Health and Nutrition member Dr Suhail Saqlain, IPH Dean Prof Dr Zarfishan Tahir and other public health experts from the environment department. P&D Task Force Chairman Sardar Awais Dreshak, P&D Chief Health Salim Masih, officers from the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), health department, and other concerned departments were also present on the occasion.

They were of the view that society must be developed on a scientific basis instead of traditions so that people understand issues concerning their health.

“The industrial revolution, smoke from brick kilns, burning of crops, as well as solid waste and smoke produced by vehicles on the roads, are the basic cause of producing smog, which is now as a bigger issue than dengue,” they said.

The IPH BOM chairman said that poor and developing countries do not have enough resources and technology to fight against issues produced by global warming therefore all the stakeholders including the IPH should prepare themselves and come up with long term strategy/policy to overcome these challenges.

“We need alternative sources of energy like solar energy and tree plantation at mass level to save our environment for a safe future of our children,” he added.

Dr Suhail Saqlain stressed on the fact that smog not only affects human health but also reduce our abilities. He also emphasised that prevention work must be carried out for creating a healthy environment in which people are conscious about their health.

Dr Zarfishan Tahir urged that every individual should play his or her role to control smog. She said that people should not burn solid waste, avoid barbecues, and check vehicles before coming on roads to reduce smoke that is produced.

Further, public health experts also urged the public to wear a mask while going outside, avoid unnecessary travelling, and drink extra water to protect themselves. “Do not use air fresheners as they also pollute the environment,” they concluded.