09/30/2016, 11.28
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Pollution leading cause of death in Nepal

by Christopher Sharma

This is what emerges from the latest WHO report. With 9 thousand deaths per year, poor air quality is the more deadly than Maoist revolution of 10 years ago. At least 36 Nepalese every 100 die from respiratory problems. Local experts: "After the earthquake, the situation has worsened. Now it is public health emergency. "

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Air pollution is the leading cause of death and kills more children in Nepal than the Maoist insurrection which took place 10 years ago. These are the findings of 2016 World Health Organization (WHO) report. According to local experts,  9 thousand people die each year from causes related to poor air quality in Kathmandu alone.

The figure is even more worrying when one considers that it has tripled in four years. In 2012, in fact, the deaths recorded for similar causes were 3 thousand. According to WHO calculations, pollution kills 36 Nepalese every 100 thousand, for diseases such as lung cancer, lung obstruction, heart attacks.

Bhusan Tuladhar, director of UN-Habitat for South Asia, said: "Several reports have placed Nepal among the four worst countries in the protection of human health. The high pollution and heavy traffic of old vehicles has raised the risk again. "

According to Dr. Robin Bhattarai, tourists are the main victims of this disaster: "Many of them are unaware of pollution here. Europeans and Americans should wear protective masks while visiting Kathmandu. "
After the terrible earthquake that struck the country in 2014, the rate of pollution has seen a further surge. According to experts, Hindu temples and the oldest structures in the country are built with raw materials, which emit dust since the shock. These, mixed with pollution, make the atmosphere unbreathable.

Kabir Nath Yogi, doctor professor at Tribhuvan Univesity, says: "In winter, the concentration of suspended particles such as dust, smog and smoking increases considerably [...]. Air contamination is a public health emergency ".

The WHO report, which analyzed 103 countries around the world, says that about 92% of the world population breathes air harmful to health. China is the worst country from this point of view, followed by India and Russia in terms of annual deaths caused by pollution.

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