The World Health Organization has released a new report, Air Pollution and Child Health: Prescribing Clean Air, one day prior to the start of the first WHO Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health on October 30, 2018. This report describes the scientific evidence that demonstrates links between harmful levels of air pollution exposure and adverse health outcomes in children. Main topics include routes of exposure to air pollution, vulnerability and susceptibility of children, sources of air pollution, effects of air pollution on child health, and recommended actions for health professionals. To learn more about the effects of air pollution on children’s health, please visit the World Health Organization’s website for the infographics, video, and social media toolkit.
The use of Earth observation data among interdisciplinary and multi-agency teams can significantly advance our scientific knowledge of our global ecosystem and support disease preparedness and response actions in disease epidemic or humanitarian efforts. With funding by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), one research team developed a forecasting tool with 92% accuracy to predict the high-risk geographic areas for Vibrio cholerae spread and distribution across Yemen in 2017. Led by Antar Jutla (West Virginia University), Rita Colwell (University of Maryland, College Park), and Anwar Huq (University of Maryland, College Park), the research team developed their model by analyzing Earth observation data for environmental conditions that influence V. cholerae proliferation such as the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments.
After the World Health Organization reported this occurrence as the world’s worst cholera outbreak, humanitarian agencies aimed to take forward steps in 2018. As such, international organizations, such as the U.K. Aid, the U.K. Met Office, and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), collaborated with these NASA-funded researchers and used the model to identify predicted cholera risk and inform decision-makers where to best allocate preparedness and support measures based on the model’s predictions.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Wilson Center collaborated to present the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission 2018 Vector-borne and Water-related Diseases Workshop, held at the Wilson Center, on May 17, 2018. This workshop showcased the use of Earth observation data to inform and predict vector-borne and water-related diseases. It also served as an educational and professional networking event, connecting Earth scientists and other practitioners and expanding the end-user community. In addition to presentations by keynote speakers, expert panelists, representing diverse specialties, formed three panels to present topics regarding “New and Emerging Research”, “Health, Data, and Complexity”, and “Citizen Science”. In efforts to disseminate the post-workshop summary, Alex Long (Wilson Center) prepared the blog post, Citizens, Satellites, and the Future of Disease Monitoring. Please visit the GPM Disease Initiative website to learn more about the agenda and view the presentation recordings.
The National Space Club welcomes nominations for the NOAA David Johnson Award for Outstanding Innovative Earth Observation Satellite Data. Nominations may be submitted for professionals (age 40 or younger) who have developed a novel application of satellite data that can be used to examine and/or predict atmospheric, oceanic, or terrestrial conditions. The award nomination deadline is September 30, 2018. Please visit the award website for more information about the nomination process and previous award recipients.
Montreal’s 375th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation made for an invigorating backdrop for the Earth Observation (EO) Summit 2017, hosted in part by the Canadian Remote Sensing Society. Over 500 scientists, professionals, and governmental and industrial leaders from over 26 countries gathered on June 20-22, 2017, to discuss EO technologies, its applications, and its societal benefits.
The CEOS Working Group on Capacity Building & Data Democracy (WGCapD) co-organized a workshop, “One Earth – One Health Workshop: Contributions of Earth Observations (EO) to Public Health Practices”, during the 2017 Summit on June 21, 2017.
The workshop opened with remarks from the Canadian Space Agency’s Eric Laliberté, and Public Health Agency Canada’s Howared Njoo, affirming the need to identify data, indicators, and technologies to improve public health outcomes with EO.
Sessions at the meeting shared opportunities and challenges for scientific endeavors and for the development of applications. Cécile Viignolles from France’s Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), shared opportunities in telehealth, to improve access to healthcare for patients in remote locations and mobile sites, and in tele-epidemiology, to connect human and animal diseases that are linked to climate and environment, using space technology.
Ramesh Krishnamurthy from the World Health Organization championed for a common global dashboard to monitor the targets of the Sustainable Development Goal #3, “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.” He shared three elements required to ensure that the efforts to improve health are sustainable: good data, a good informatics approach, and human capacity that is multi-sectoral (involving departments of health, education, labor, finance, etc.), all working towards a “common value” goal.
All presentations from the workshop sessions can be accessed here: http://learningcenter.obt.inpe.br/doku.php?id=workshop-montreal
The workshop afternoon engaged participants in small break-out groups to conduct scenario-based problem solving in the following six themes: vulnerable human populations, mosquito-borne diseases, tick-borne diseases, microbial water contamination, air quality and chronic conditions, and pandemics. Each group was charged with identifying current and potential EO products, applications, and services to support public health efforts for their respective scenarios.
The insights and results from the small-group discussions are being complied into a white paper by Stephanie Brazeau of the Public Health Agency ofCanada, Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org, and Guy Aubé of the Canadian Space Agency, email@example.com.
The blog introduces the GEO Community to the GEO Health CoP chair, Mr. John Haynes. Mr. Haynes is the Program Manager of NASA’s Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Program, and for the past 15 years, has applied his expertise in meteorology and remote sensing to address globally significant issues in aviation weather policy, public health, and environmental health.
The blog also shares GEO Health CoP’s recent events and achievements, including the group’s support for the addition of a new Community Activity to the GEO Work Programme entitled, ‘Earth Observations for Health,’ which has three focus areas: 1) weather and climate extremes; 2) water-related illnesses; and 3) vector-borne diseases.
The post, published on July 24, 2017, was authored by Dr. Shobhana Gupta, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at NASA’s Heath and Air Quality Applied Sciences Program.
Hyperlink to the blog post: http://www.earthobservations.org/geo_blog_obs.php?id=238