Children's environmental health

Capacity building

Children playing carrom on an alley near Strand Road, Yangon. May 2015.
WHO /Diego Rodriguez

Environmentally-related childhood diseases represent an enormous global public health problem, particularly in developing countries and impoverished communities, where there is often lack of awareness and knowledge about the effects of environmental hazards on children’s health.

Since The Bangkok Statement, WHO recognizes the need to educate and train health care providers at all levels in the prevention, diagnosis and management of children’s diseases linked to environmental risk factors.

Efforts are undertaken to enable those “in the front line”, the health professionals dealing with children and adolescents’ health, to recognize, assess and prevent diseases linked to, or triggered by environmental factors. Even in the most advanced countries, education of health care providers on environmental health issues tends to be limited or just non-existent.

To this effect, WHO has prepared information and training materials and has been planning and implementing a number of training activities. Throughout the years, experienced professionals from both developed and developing countries have been involved in the preparation and peer-review of the materials on specific topics.

Information and training materials

Training package for health care providers

Internationally harmonized modules on key issues for paediatricians and paediatric nurses, family and public health professionals.

Children’s health and the environment: A global perspective

A collection of information that focus mainly on the needs of developing countries, inspired on the Green Book of the American Academy of Paediatrics (published 2005).

The paediatric environmental history
Recording children's exposure to environmental health threats: A "green page" in the medical record

A set of basic and concise questions, part of the standard medical history, that enable health professionals to identify and record children’s risks of exposure to environmental threats in different settings.

Leaflets for health care providers

Concise information on what health care professionals should know about selected environmental risks (e.g. water pollution, lead, chemicals……) Their preparation is done in close cooperation with the International Paediatric Association (IPA).

Journal articles