8,500 respiratory diseases diagnosed in one week due to pollution

By: Lailuma Noori

Although Afghanistan National Environment Protection Authority says the authority has implemented short-term programs to counter increasing air pollution in Kabul City, people are still suffering various diseases caused by air pollution.
Officials for the Ministry of Public Health have informed of diagnosing over 8,500 people who were suffering from respiratory conditions over the past one week due to air pollution in Kabul hospital, saying that air pollution and coldness can be one of the factors of the diseases. “During the past one week, over 8530 people have been diagnosed with respiratory disease at hospitals in Kabul. Cold and air pollution can be considered key factors behind the illness,” said Nizamuddin Jalil, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health.
This comes amid of increasing air pollution in Kabul city as the city has been recently marked as one of the world’s most polluted cities. Recent heavy snowfalls have also not been able to cut down increasing pollution in the city.
The air pollution rate in Kabul has jumped to 143, which is considered as dangerous for health of human beings. Residents of Kabul city are accusing relevant government officials for not doing anything for the reduction of air pollution in the city.
National Environment Protection Authority says the organ has implemented a series of short-term programs for the reduction of air pollution in Kabul city.
“So far we have assessed over 300 places including public bathrooms, restaurants and other related sites. We have closed 126 of them, another 100 places were asked to repair their system,” said Mohammad Qasim Rahimi, head of the media department of the National Environment Protection Agency.
Unlike other polluted cities in the world, the air pollution in Kabul is a seasonal pollution. During the winter, as the weather gets cold, the air pollution increases in the city due to the use of low-quality fuel by its residents.
Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, which are most dangerous and prevalent greenhouse gases—are at the highest levels ever recorded. Greenhouse gas levels are so high primarily because humans have released them into the air by burning fossil fuels. The gases absorb solar energy and keep heat close to Earth’s surface, rather than letting it escape into space. That trapping of heat is known as the greenhouse effect.
Greenhouse gases have far-ranging environmental and health effects. They cause climate change by trapping heat, and they also contribute to respiratory disease from smog and air pollution. Extreme weather, food supply disruptions, and increased wildfires are other effects of climate change caused by greenhouse gases. The typical weather patterns we’ve grown to expect will change; some species will disappear; others will migrate or grow.
In Kabul, 3,000 people die annually due to increasing air pollution. Currently, increasing air pollution kills more people than the continued war in the country. in consideration to current situation, death toll caused by increasing air pollution will double if the government does not implement mechanisms for fighting air pollution in the country.

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