Children's Health and Environment: Developing Action Plans

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World Health Organization, 2005 - Medical - 88 pages
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Investing in children's health is essential to ensure human and economic development. Healthy children have the best chances for healthy, productive lives. At the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health in 2004, the countries in the WHO European Region committed themselves to building a healthy future for the Region's children by adopting the Children's Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe. It provides a framework for action by the 52 diverse countries in the Region. This book was written to provide the guidance and tools that countries need to carry out the Action Plan at the local and national levels, and Region-wide. The aim is to transform the framework document into national action plans suited to each country's circumstances, priorities and resources.

The book has three parts. Part I provides the scientific evidence on children's susceptibility to environmental risk factors and an overview of environmental risk factors and their effects on children's health. Part II is the core of the publication: tables proposing child-specific actions and therefore concrete ways in which a country can work to reduce children's exposure to environmental risk factors and improve their health. This gives countries the opportunity to act on their own national priorities while still addressing Region-wide environmental risk factors. Part III focuses on the tools required to ensure implementation of national action plans: setting priorities; building partnerships; taking a precautionary approach to uncertain risks; carrying out strategies for advocacy and information education and communication; and using indicators to monitor progress at the national and the Region-wide levels. This publication is intended to act as a handbook for countries to use in building a safe and health future for all of Europe's children.

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