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Environmental risks to health are responsible for a large fraction of the overall disease burden. Decision makers need to be aware of the most important environmental exposures, exposure-disease links and available options and solutions for creating a healthier environment. This course provides an introduction to environmental health, covering key facts, figures and available interventions on the most important environmental risks, including climate change, air pollution, WASH, chemicals and others.

Self-paced
Language: English
Not disease specific

Course information

Overview: About one quarter of the global disease burden is due to a limited number of environmental health risks. The health impacts of many environmental threats such as air pollution, drinking water, chemicals and occupational risks are well known and solutions are available. The health risks from climate change are on the rise. These topics have not sufficiently been included in relevant education.

This course aims to contribute to filling this gap by providing basic environmental health training including on risks to health from air pollution; drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), climate change, chemicals, radiation and other important environmental health risks. It presents most important exposures, health impacts and identified solutions to reduce environmental health risks and thereby adverse health impacts.

The target audience for this course is key decision makers at national, regional and municipal levels, government officials, higher-level policy-makers, key actors such as municipal staff, staff in relevant ministries (including those working with industry), community health workers, WHO and UN partner agencies’, funds’ and programmes’ country representatives and country staff, and nongovernmental organizations planning or performing country work.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours.

Certificates: A Certificate of Achievement will be available to participants who score at least 80% of the total points available across all of the quizzes. Participants who receive a Record of Achievement can also download an Open Badge for this course. Click here to learn how.

What you'll learn

  • Recognize the importance of environmental risks for global health;
  • Describe key concepts in health and environment;
  • Describe most important environmental exposures and related health impacts;
  • List available actions, interventions and policies to reduce exposure to environmental risks and reduce related disease burden;
  • Access and use available resources to assist in assessing the situation for a specific country and in choosing the most appropriate action.

Course contents

  • Module 1: Introduction to ECH:

    This introductory module provides an overview of the importance of environmental risks to health, important concepts in environmental health and provides a list of further resources.
  • Module 2: Air pollution. Water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH). Climate change:

    This module lists most important exposures, health impacts and actions/interventions/policies on air pollution, WASH and climate change. By the end of this module, you will : explain sources of exposure and the health risks posed by air pollution, inadequate WASH and climate change; describe what interventions can be taken to address these health risks; access and use main resources with guidance on interventions.
  • Module 3: Chemicals, Radiation, Solid waste:

    This module lists most important exposures, health impacts and actions/interventions/policies on chemicals, radiation and solid waste including electronic waste. By the end of this module, you will : Explain sources of exposures and the health risks posed by chemicals, radiation, solid waste; describe what interventions can be taken to address these health risks; access and use main resources with guidance on interventions.
  • Module 4: Environmental noise. Nature, biodiversity and health. Safe and healthy food. Transport, mobility and physical activity:

    This module covers other environmental risks including environmental noise; biodiversity, ecosystems and health; safe and healthy food; and transport, mobility and physical activity. By the end of this module, you will: Explain sources of exposure and the environmental health risks related to biodiversity loss, environmental noise, food and physical activity; describe what interventions can be taken to address these health risks; access and use main resources with guidance on interventions. NB: Only the environmental aspects of food and physical activity are covered here.
  • Module 5: Priority settings for action: Occupational & workplace health. Cities/urban settlements. Health care facilities:

    This module covers specific settings with great potential for environmental health action, such as occupational and workplace health; cities/urban settlements; and health care facilities. By the end of this module, you will : Explain exposure routes and the health risks specific to priority settings for action; describe what interventions can be taken to address these health risks; access and use main resources with guidance on interventions.

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Learners enrolled: 9216

Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a Record of Achievement by earning at least 80% of the maximum number of points from all graded assignments.