One of the many environmental challenges Iran is facing is urban air pollution. According to statistics, some Iranian cities are among the most polluted cities in the world.
Out of all Iran’s environmental challenges, the effect of air pollution on the quality of life is probably one of the most immediate and visible threat.
To address this issue, World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with Ministry of Health in the Islamic Republic of Iran organized a workshop on Air Q+ software.
The Air Q+ software, which was introduced during this workshop, is the latest version of software developed by WHO for collecting information and considering population and demographic and health information/indicators to provide more reliable estimation on health risk attributable to air pollution. It provides a useful means to formulate evidence and present to policymakers and managers of the health effects of air pollution in terms of premature mortality and morbidity.
Dr. Sameen Siddiqi, WHO Representative in Iran and Mr. Gary Lewis, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Iran, spoke at the this workshop.
Dr. Siddiqi said: “Air pollution is now fully acknowledged to be a significant public health problem, responsible for a growing range of health effects that are well documented from the results of an extensive research effort conducted in many regions of the world. There is no doubt that rapid urbanisation means that we are now exposed to unhealthy concentrations and a more diverse variety of ambient air pollutants.”
He added: “Despite past improvements in air quality, very large parts of the population in urban areas breathe air that does not meet the health-based World Health Organisation Air Quality Guidelines.”
In his remarks, Mr. Lewis said: “The level of particulate matter in all the cities around the world is increasing. How does the world is responding to this important issue?”
He then stated: “I am very happy to say that about 16 months ago, in New York, the international community agreed to a set of goals called the Sustainable Development Goals. Which deals with every single aspect of how we can sustainably continue into the future as a human race. We are significantly compromising our ability to sustainably live into the future.”
He concluded by saying: “I leave you with this understanding that this work which you are doing today, ladies and gentlemen is a part of something much bigger whose ultimate result will be to make the lives of our children and grandchildren safer, healthier and maybe even happier.”