Environmental Health Could Become Global Concern of 1990s

Article excerpt

The interaction between the environment and human health will become the global concern of the 1990s, predicted Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Speaking to the organization's Executive Board in Geneva on 20 January, Dr. Nakajima said that environmental health was a new theme cutting across all WHO programmes, all of which "must be aimed at sustainable development".

Health for all and primary health care were already widely accepted concepts, so it was now imperative to concentrate on their practical application, he said.

Strongly endorsing WHO involvement in sustainable development, the Executive Board declared that both WHO and health ministries all over the world must now work in new and innovative ways with all national and community development sectors, including education, agriculture, food, industry, housing, public works and communications. However, the organization would not compete or overlap with the work of other environmental agencies.

At its 83rd session (9-20 January) the Board decided that World AIDS Day will be observed each year on 1 December-in 1989, the theme will be "Youth and AIDS". It also asked Dr. Nakajima to continue to strengthen the WHO Global Programme on AIDS.

At the end of February, the first international meeting of national and community-based AIDS service organizations took place in Vienna. Under WHO auspices, some 50 AIDS service organizations from around the world, including some pioneering groups in that area, were able for the first time to discuss how to fight more effectively against the deadly disease. …