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

Sarah Shannon is ready to take on the world
2011-08-10

 

Sarah Shannon
Photo: Lize-Marie Smit

An intimate send-off party was recently held in Sarah Shannon’s honour by her support group. She is a student from our university and she is heading to present South Africa at the 2011 Pan Pacific Para-swimming Championships in Alberta, Canada from 10-14 August. Here she will be competing in the 50 m and 100 m free-style, and the 50 m and 100 m backstroke, respectively.

Sarah, a silver-medal winner at the Para-Olympic World Championships in Brazil 2009, has set high goals for herself. She has a Bachelors degree in Psychology, has completed her Postgraduate Certificate in Education modules, and she is a motivational speaker to boot. She is also scheduled to start her PGCE practical teaching at the Tswellang Special School in Bloemfontein at the beginning of September 2011. “I love helping people and making a difference, and I would like to work with children with special needs,” Sarah says.

Ms Arina Otto, Manager at our Sports Medicine Clinic says: “We believe in you, Sarah, but mostly we support you all the way.” Sarah is also supported by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and is currently on their OPEX (Operation Excellence) Programme. OPEX sponsored her by ensuring she gets all the medical and scientific support as an athlete.

Sarah swims two hours a day and exercises for an hour on a daily basis.

“We are hoping she does well in Canada so she can be selected for the 2012 Para-Olympic Games,” says Ms Tanya Martin, Assistant Coach: SuperSport Seals Swimming Club. 
 

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