Manila dwellers to double in 2015
Urban dwellers in Manila will double to 12.9 million by 2015, from only 6.8 million in 1985 when most cities in Asia already showed a resurgence of growth. This was bared in a data from the World Health Organization (WHO) which also showed that six out of every 10 people will be city dwellers in the world by 2030.
As this developed, BBC news reported that the world’s urban population is expected to reach four billion from 2015 to 2020, citing the Gall-Peters projection. With this expected increase in the world’s urban population, the WHO cautioned that this phenomenon could post serious challenge for public health. “Urbanization is associated with many health challenges related to water, environment, violence, and injury, non-communicable diseases and their risk factors like tobacco use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol as well as the risks associated with disease outbreaks,’’ the WHO said in its report published on its website.
Specifically, the WHO stressed that the urban poor may “suffer disproportionately from a wide range of diseases and other problems, and include an increased risk for violence, chronic disease and for some communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.’’ The international health organization urged cities and urban planners to tackle seriously the root causes of urban health challenges and come up with urban planning that promotes healthy behaviors and safety through investment regulatory controls on tobacco and food safety.
It also urged urban planners to improve living conditions in the areas of housing, water, and sanitation to mitigate health risks. “Building inclusive cities that are accessible and age-friendly will benefit all urban residents,’’ the WHO said. It underscored that commitment to addressing the challenges is far more crucial than requiring additional funding.
For its part, the WHO will highlight urbanization and health during the World Health Day 2010 in April. “The theme was selected in recognition of the effect urbanization has on our collective health globally and for us all individually,’’ WHO said in its report. Among the more crucial programs include campaigning for “1,000 cities, 1,000 lives,’’ which will call upon all cities worldwide to open up portions of streets to people to promote healthy activities for one day during the week-long celebration from April 7 to 11.
The 1,000 lives program also seeks to collect 1,000 stories of urban health champions who have taken action and had a significant impact on health in their cities. In 2007, the WHO documented that the world’s population living in cities surpassed 50% for the first time in history. In 2050, seven out of every 10 people will become urban settlers, the report added.