Applying Environmental Burden of Disease Models to Strengthen Public Policy
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The methods described in this book can provide a foundation for the next generation of environment and health strategic plans. Our approach provides an empirically validated means for the kinds of cooperative planning by the various levels of government, nongovernmental organizations and local communities needed in order to reduce human impacts on the environment and environmental impacts on human health. The project documented in this book followed three major steps: (1) developing preliminary environmental burden of disease estimates for 14 risk categories, (2) engaging stakeholders in a systematic process to prioritize these 14 risk categories based on the burden of disease information and other factors, and (3) analyzing in detail the burden of disease for eight key risk categories emerging from the priority-setting exercise. This chapter integrates the environmental burden of disease estimates from Chaps. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. It provides a big-picture view of the United Arab Emirates’ environmental disease burden across risk categories. It then outlines how the environmental burden of disease model described in these chapters can serve as a foundation for systematically analyzing interventions to improve environmental quality and lessen the associated disease burden. Next, it explains how a process like that in Chap. 2 could provide the foundation for the next generation of environment and health strategic plans, in which stakeholders come together to prioritize environmental interventions from a menu of options. The chapter also explains how ecological impacts of interventions could be incorporated in this priority-setting process. The budget struggles that many nations face as they contend with the continuing global economic crisis underline the need for renewed environment and health strategic planning. The approach outlined in this book paves the way for doing more with less—for increasing the public health gains of environmental interventions without necessarily increasing the economic burden on governments and their citizens.
KeywordsEnvironmental burden of disease United Arab Emirates Systematic prioritization of public health interventions Land-use regression modeling Hydrodynamic modeling Risk management decision-making Integrated environment and health modeling system
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