A Consultant Respiratory Physician at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, has warned Nigerians, especially market and pregnant women on the many dangers of being exposed to air pollution.
Dr Uju Ozoh, during a sensitisation programme on the dangers of exposure to air pollution, noted that traders were the most affected as they were exposed to pollution for a large part of their lives. According to Dr. Ozoh:
”Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of many diseases including stroke, cancer, heart disease, lung disease, childhood illnesses, poor growth and it even affects the unborn child. When a pregnant lady is exposed to air pollution, the unborn child is also affected.
Our ultimate aim is to be able to change policies. The government must be aware of the dangers of air pollution and how harmful it is to the health of the citizens. So, from the measure we took today, we’ll ensure that our result gets to policymakers so they can understand that this exposure is harmful and find a way of curbing it.”
The physician adds:
“It is not just market women that should be moved away from the highway, schools and residential areas must also be relocated away from highways. Air pollution increases the risks of diseases and death.”
Also, a Consultant Pomologist at LASUTH, Dr Oluwafemi Ojo, described the sensitisation programme as timely, saying there was the need to educate Nigerians on air pollution. She said:
“One of the reasons why we organise this event is to raise the awareness of the side effects of air pollution. With that, we might be able to look at some of the options in terms of treatment. But the main thing is to be able to halt or reduce the exposure from now on.”