A woman cooks food using charcoal on a street in the commune of Petion Ville in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Aug 13, 2015. Wood charcoal is the main source of home fuel in Haiti. (Hector RETAMAL / AFP)
GENEVA – More than 20 global leaders agreed on a roadmap to hasten access to clean and sustainable energy for public health facilities, arguing that sustainable energy was “essential” for human health, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.
During a meeting of the High-Level Coalition on Health and Energy, convened by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the leaders, including ministers of health and energy, heads of international organizations and senior representatives from civil society institutions, endorsed the Strategic Roadmap on Health and Energy.
Promoting cleaner fuels for cooking and providing electricity for healthcare facilities around the world were chosen as the two main focuses of the roadmap
Promoting cleaner fuels for cooking and providing electricity for healthcare facilities around the world were chosen as the two main focuses of the roadmap.
According to WHO’s estimates, close to 2.6 billion people in 2019 were at risk of inhaling dangerous pollutants while cooking, as many communities still use conventional fuels in their kitchens.
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As a result, four million people die of heart diseases, cancers and lung diseases that can be directly attributed to “inefficient and polluting cooking,” the Geneva-based organization said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the global coverage of electricity in healthcare facilities is not yet at reach, said the WHO, as 1.1 billion people are still being treated in facilities without electricity.
“Accelerating electrification of healthcare facilities and clean cooking is essential to protect human health and to promote healthier populations,” said Tedros.
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The High-Level Coalition on Health and Energy is comprised of leaders from governments supporting the Health and Energy Platform of Action, a platform for strengthening cooperation between health and energy sectors, as well as those from selected international organizations and other high-level health and energy champions.