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Doctors for Clean Air

DR

Why this Initiative?

Air Pollution is a silent killer, taking the lives of millions of people across the World and causing many chronic health issues. 4.2 million deaths occur every year worldwide as a result of exposure to ambient (outdoor) air pollution and 3.8 million deaths every year as a result of household exposure to smoke from dirty cook stoves and fuels. 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO limits.

India is paying the price of rapid urbanization and industrialization in the form of rapidly deteriorating Air Quality. New Delhi has been in the news time and again for being amongst the most polluted cities, the situation is equally bad in most other cities as well.

It has been our experience that most of our population is unaware of the damage caused by Air Pollution to their health. On the other hand, the Government, though proactive in other issues like Climate Change, has not yet made air pollution a priority issue. Additionally, few significant steps taken by Government towards Clean Air have been criticized and condemned by the people as it causes inconvenience to them. Main reason for people’s opposition is their lack of knowledge of the severe health ill effects of air pollution and the damage occurring to their children. If they are made aware of the seriousness of the issue, they will not only accept the measures, but will also contribute actively towards solutions.

These circumstances are the foundation for the “Doctors for Clean Air” initiative of the Lung care foundation and Health Care Without Harm, a first of its kind initiative which will help motivated doctors to become the “Champions for Clean Air”.

Doctors can play a defining role in the war against Air Pollution.

Nobody sees the health ill effects of air pollution as closely as doctors, as they see the affected patients and manage them. Additionally, when doctors talk to their patients and families, they are more likely to be able to motivate them as they talk from position of strength. Thus, doctors can be a “motivated motivator”. They can translate the studies across the world which link Air Pollution and health into simple, understandable words for the common people.

Doctors for Clean Air” will be a network of identified, passionate and trained Doctors who will lead the fight against Air Pollution in their respective regions across India.

The key objectives of the campaign:

  • India should realise that Air Pollution is a National Health Emergency.
    This can only be achieved by increasing public / political awareness about Air Pollution and its Health Ill-Effects. 1.3 billion Indians need to be aware that 2.6 billion Indian lungs are in serious danger due to air pollution.
  • Influence union level and state-level policy makers and administrators towards formulation and implementation of air pollution control policies and laws.
  • Develop low cost air quality monitoring systems across the country and issue health advisories accordingly.
  • Support / carryout any other action which helps in achieving the target of clean air.

With the support of the campaign secretariat, these doctors will work towards Clean Air by:

  • Training more champions from regional medical fraternity to work towards the cause.
  • Organizing further outreach directly to people in their respective states, ultimately reaching out to every Indian.
  • Creating content in regional languages for outreach to people.
  • Actively Engage with local media and others to highlight ill-effects of Air Pollution.
  • Meeting with Government officials and Administrators to advocate the urgency for effective actions to achieve clean air.

Target Audience for Doctor’s Campaign:

The above mentioned objectives will be achieved by Doctors spearheading this initiative to make it a People’s Movement for Clean Air by reaching out to:

  • School Children, Teachers, Parents and other members of public
  • Local/Regional/ National Media
  • Local/Regional/ National Political leadership
  • Local/Regional/ National Bureaucracy
  • Religious organisations
  • Any other group/organisation which will help reach this message to the people.

Glimpses

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