Zimbabweans urged to conserve the environment to achieve good public health

– If you look at it, you see that the environment is actually the source of whatever comes back to us as diseases, experts said.

John Cassim

Harare, Zimbabwe (CZ) – Zimbabwean health experts on Friday made a call for the conservation of nature and warned that today’s health challenges emanate from a degraded environment.

The call was made during the launch of the Public Health Practitioners Association of Zimbabwe (PHAZ) in Harare.

“On health issues, we have been treating the environment as the end of whatever we are doing as humans and even in the animal sector, but if you look at it, you see that the environment actually is the source of whatever comes back to us,” Tracey Mubambi, an environmental specialist and executive member of the association, said.

“The effect of whatever way we harm the environment comes back to us in terms of diseases.

COVID-19 taught us a very good lesson in terms of issues to do with the environment,” she added.

Dr. Evidence Gaka concurred, citing that the environment, human health, and animal health are intertwined.

“You may not separate human health from animal health and the environment; those three are intertwined.

When you talk about the environment, there are resultant issues like climate change.

And when you talk of climate change, you start talking of floods and all sorts of things that do affect human health directly,” Dr. Gaka warned.

The call to protect the environment, came following a statement read by the Secretary General, Tafadzwa Zhawari, a nutritionist by profession.

Tafadzwa urged all public health practitioners, including environmentalists, to share knowledge and best practices.

“The importance of the association cannot be overstated. Public health associations play a vital role in advancing policies that promote healthy living, disease prevention, and access to quality healthcare services.

They all provide a forum for sharing knowledge and best practices among healthcare professionals, policymakers, and community leaders,” she said.

PHAZ was created following recommendations by ‘The Public Health Symposium,” held in the capital last year, to take stock of Zimbabwe’s experience during COVID-19.

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