Global health risk of children and youth
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Zakład Epidemiologii Katedry Epidemiologii i Biostatystyki Wydziału Zdrowia Publicznego Śląskiego Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Katowicach
Agata Wypych-Ślusarska   

Zakład Epidemiologii Katedry Epidemiologii i Biostatystyki Wydziału Zdrowia Publicznego Śląskiego Uniwersytetu Medycznego w Katowicach, ul. Piekarska 18, 41-902 Bytom, tel. +48 32 397 65 43
Ann. Acad. Med. Siles. 2015;69:42–48
Globalization is a process that brings a number of positive developments in the field of public health, however, it also generates new risks. This paper presents some environmental, social and economic health risks to children and youth in a global context. According to WHO, 7 million children under 5 years old die each year and 98% of them come from developing countries. Up to 54% of causes of death among children under the age of five is associated with malnutrition, whereas in developing countries, obese children and adolescents is becoming an urgent problem. One of the greatest threats to children’s health is poverty. According to data published by Central Statistical Office in 2012, statutory poverty in Poland increased in comparison to 2011 (from 6.7% to 7.0%). Extreme poverty increased as well (from 6.5% to 6.7%). The risk of poverty increased in families with at least four children, single parent families, and those families with disabled children. Environmental risk factors, evaluated by WHO with the use of DALY as a measure of population health condition, have a significant impact on health. Worldwide there are environmental risk factors typical for developing countries (lack of access to clean water and sanitation, vector-borne diseases) and new environmental risks specific to the developed world (environmental degradation, unsafe use and storage of chemicals). Microintoxication, (e.g.: lead poisoning), occurring as a result of prolonged exposure to low concentrations typical for environmental exposure, is becoming a problem as well. The health risks to children and young people connected with globalization have been known for decades. They constitute priorities in health policy in the country and around the world. Strategic planning and consistent, integrated actions are needed to eliminate them.
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