Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
04 June 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Prof Cathryn Tonne
Air pollution not only costs lives, it costs money too. Pictured is Prof Cathryn Tonne presenting a guest lecture on air pollution at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Health effects associated with ambient air pollution (AAP) have been well documented. Subsequently, the relationship between pollution and financial outcomes have also become a focus for case studies globally. An Environmental Research journal article revealed that “low and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by the global burden of adverse health effects caused by AAP”. 

A high price to pay

In 2012, high concentrations of air pollution caused 7.4% of all deaths, costing South Africa up to 6% of its Gross Domestic Product. According to the recent International Growth Centre study conducted by senior University of Cape Town researchers, this is a direct consequence of the country’s heavy dependence of fossil fuels, a source of health-damaging air pollution and greenhouse pollutants.

Stunted human and economic growth

These South African statistics are attested to by Prof Cathryn Tonne who recently presented a guest lecture on air pollution which was hosted by the University of the Free State (UFS) Business School.

“Air pollution can affect economic development through several pathways, and health is an important one. Air pollution is linked to shorter life expectancy, chronic disease, asthma exacerbation and many other health outcomes that result in absenteeism from work and school. These have large direct costs to the health system.” 

Prof Tonne says that air pollution exposure in children is linked to reduced cognitive development, with important impacts on human capital. As a result, children are not reaching their full potential in terms of neurodevelopment, which has an effect on their income prospects and the economy as a whole. 

Resolving a looming disaster

Technology may be employed to radically clean the air. Cities need to lead in the reduction of air pollution by promoting renewable energy, using active transport such as walking or cycling, and investing in infrastructure to make this safe and attractive. 

With researchers playing a major role in strengthening the case for aggressive air pollution control, the government needs to implement policies in order to control sources of air pollution. This global health and economic issue also requires individuals and communities to play their part to improve air quality.

News Archive

Groundbreaking research underway to improve health in the Free State
2009-04-06

 
Some of the researchers in the project, are from the left, back: Dr Sanet van Zyl, Dr Lynette van der Merwe (both of Basic Medical Sciences), Ms Michélle Pienaar (Ph.D. student Nutrition and Dietetics), Prof. Corinna Walsh (project leader, Nutrition and Dietetics) and Dr Dries Groenewald (Chemical Pathology); front: Mr Llewellyn Fourie (M.Sc. student, Nutrition and Dietetics) and Mrs Marleze van Rhyn (Van Rensburg Patoloë).
Photo: Supplied.
Groundbreaking research underway to improve health in the Free State

Ahead of World Health Day on Tuesday 7 April, researchers at the University of the Free State (UFS) have announced that they are involved in an extensive research project to determine how life in urban and rural areas influences the lifestyle of the communities and contributes to lifestyle illnesses such as obesity, diabetes and heart diseases, as well malnutrition.

According to the researchers of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the UFS, the study in various suburbs of Mangaung is a long-term project known as Assuring Health for All in the Free State (AHA-FS) and will monitor communities every three years for a period of twelve years.

Prof. Corinna Walsh of the Department Nutrition and Dietetics is the project leader and works closely with researchers in the departments of Basic Medical Sciences and Chemical Pathology of the School of Medicine in the faculty.

A total of 36 researchers and field workers are involved in the project and information on various nutrition and health aspects are gathered. Those include diet, physical activity, health, knowledge, practices and attitude towards nutrition.

Medical examinations, anthropometric measuring (of the human body) and various blood tests will be done in the study and extensive data on 1 200 people will be available in the end.

The data gathered will be used in intervention programmes planned to prevent and address health programme in these communities.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
06 April 2009

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept