Children get a dose of oxygen from a Red Cross volunteer at a village in Jambi.
Indonesian forest fires are putting nearly 10 million children at risk from air pollution, the United Nations warned Tuesday, as scientists said the blazes were releasing vast amounts of greenhouse gases.
The fires have been spewing toxic haze over Southeast Asia in recent weeks, closing schools and airports, with people rushing to buy face masks and seek medical treatment for respiratory ailments.
Jakarta has deployed tens of thousands of personnel and water-bombing aircraft to tackle the slash-and-burn blazes set to clear agricultural land. The fires are an annual problem but this year are the worst since 2015 due to dry weather.
Almost 10 million people under 18 -- about a quarter below five -- live in the areas worst affected by fires on Indonesia's Sumatra island and the country's part of Borneo island, the UN children's agency UNICEF said.
Small children are especially vulnerable due to undeveloped immune systems while babies born to mothers exposed to pollution during pregnancy may have low birth weights and be delivered early, they said.
"Poor air quality is a severe and growing challenge for Indonesia," said Debora Comini from UNICEF.
"Every year, millions of children are breathing toxic air that threatens their health and causes them to miss school -- resulting in lifelong physical and cognitive damage."
Thousands of schools have been closed across Indonesia due to poor air quality, with millions of youngsters missing classes.
Schools were forced to shut across Malaysia last week as dense smog from its neighbour clouded the skies, while Singapore was also shrouded in haze during the weekend's Formula One motor race.
A recent report ‘State of Global Air 2019’, by the US-based Health Effects Institute, revealed that over 12 lakh deaths in India were caused by air pollution. The burden of Type 2 diabetes contributed by exposure to fine particulate pollution is the highest in India, according to the report. Air pollution lowers insulin sensitivity, contributing to diabetes.
It is widely reported that laughter is the best medicine. Now I think I have a reason to check the veracity of that claim (“Humans consume ‘tens of thousands’ of plastic pieces,” June 6, Gulf Today). After I read that report, I deliberated between being worried and having a good laugh. I chose the latter because I felt that laughing
The report that humans eat and breathe in tens of thousands of microplastic particles every year is shocking, to say the least. New research has raised fresh questions over how plastic waste could directly impact our health. Canadian scientists scrutinised hundreds of data sets on microplastic
Pollution also led to around 25,000 premature deaths in India's financial hub Mumbai in 2020, according to the report. "The need of the hour is to rapidly scale up renewable energy, bring an end to fossil fuel emissions and boost sustainable and accessible transport systems," the report said..
Friends hugged sobbing family members struggling with staggering loss on Friday in a rural northeastern Thailand community mourning the children and other victims slain by a fired police officer in the nation's deadliest shooting rampage.
Biden said on Thursday that the risk of nuclear "Armageddon” is at the highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, as Russian officials speak of the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons after suffering massive setbacks in the eight-month invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking at a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin was "a guy I know fairly well” and the Russian leader was "not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.”
Around 100 tents were destroyed in a fire at one of the refugee camps in Lebanon on Wednesday. According to local media reports the tragic incident happened at Al Wafa refugee camp in Lebanon's Arsal region, northeast of Beirut.