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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

NBT tests compulsory for all prospective students of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the UFS
2010-05-21

All prospective students who apply for study in the Faculty of Health Sciences (excluding Nursing) at the University of the Free State in 2011, must undergo die National Benchmark Tests (NBT) on 17 July 2010 or 31 July 2010.

Students who do not have an NBT test result will not be considered for selection at the Faculty of Health Sciences. The Health Sciences Placement Tests (HSPT) has been replaced by the NBT.

Applications for selection for 2011 close on 28 May 2010. A student who has not undergone the test will not be considered for selection and no exceptions will be allowed. If a student therefore does not undergo the test on 17 July 2010 or 31 July 2010, the university will not have the results in September 2010 before the preliminary selection takes place.

Prospective students who have undergone the test before 2010 will have to write the test again. Only students who have undergone the NBT in 2010 needn’t write the test again, but they have to fax their NBT reference number to 051 401 3226.

Prospective students have to register at www.nbt.ac.za  themselves and undergo the test. The cost of writing the test is R110.

The NBT is used by all universities in South Africa to improve the quality of education and learning in order to enhance the performance of students.

Students may visit the www.nbt.ac.za  web page for any further enquiries. Enquiries about applications en selection to the Faculty of Health Sciences at the UFS may be directed at AdminFHS@ufs.ac.za  or feel free to visit the UFS web page at www.ufs.ac.za/HealthSelection  . Students are requested to read the question-and-answer section regarding selection.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (acting)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za  
21 May 2010
 

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