New Delhi, September 28, 2018: Swedish air purification expert Blueair and CRY (Child Rights & You), launched an ambitious initiative to improve the respiratory health of children across Delhi, one of the most polluted cities in the world.
UNICEF estimates that 600.000 children under the age of five die prematurely from air pollution every year. Children are more susceptible than adults to both indoor and outdoor air pollution as their lungs, brains and immune systems are still developing and their respiratory tracts are more permeable. Together, outdoor and indoor air pollution are directly linked to pneumonia and other respiratory diseases that account for almost one in 10 under-five deaths, making air pollution one of the biggest threats to children’s health.
To minimise the negative health effects of air pollution on the children living in Delhi, a city which often reports air quality levels well above WHO limits, Blueair will install air purifiers in 18 anganwadis and vocational training centres. In addition, Blueair with the support of CRY will arrange health check-ups for children and pregnant women living in Rohini and the industrial area of Badlipur, one of the most polluted neighbourhoods in Delhi. Basic medication for respiratory illnesses will also be provided as well as treatment for any critical illness.
Dr. Ajay Gambhir, MBBS MD, Delhi Medical Council, Ex-Finance Sec, IMA (HQ) New Delhi said air that a child inhales during his initial years is very critical for adaptation and simulation of the immune system. Studies shows that children who are exposed to polluted air develop various respiratory diseases like allergies and asthma. It also effects the IQ and brain development of a child. Hence, breathing clean air is very critical for a child’s health. Awareness about the same plays a critical role amongst parents and children to ensure they take necessary steps to keep their surroundings clean and healthy. Poor spacing in schools and hospitals is an important factor causing air pollution in Indian conditions, which needs to be taken care of.
Adding to it, Soha Moitra, Regional Director, North (CRY) said, “We are proud to partner with Blueair, a company with a firm commitment to improve the health and well-being of children everywhere. At CRY, we believe that every child has the right to a safe and happy childhood. Protecting children from air pollution is therefore not only in their best interest, it is also in the best interest of society.”
Mr. Jitendra from Pahal (a partner NGO that works with CRY), said, “Clean air is a basic human right. In an industrial area like Badli, with air pollution levels sometimes hitting ten times the safe limit, the respiratory health of children is at risk. We are therefore grateful to Blueair and CRY for supporting our children breathe in clean air.”
Arvind Chabra, Country Head – Blueair, said, “We are confident that the initiative that we are launching today will be the first step to improve the respiratory health of the children in Delhi. What few know is that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. By ensuring clean indoor air for young children and pregnant women in anganwadi centers, we are also helping to reduce the health inequalities among the children in Delhi.
Clean Air for Children is an initiative launched by Blueair in 2016. Since then, Blueair has donated air purifiers and face masks to schools, kindergartens, nurseries and children hospitals in China, India, Korea, the UK and the US.