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World Health Organization's Environmental Burden of Disease

  • By: Natalie Milovantseva
  • In: Green Health: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Oladele Ogunseitan
  • Subject:Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Geography of Health

Assessments of population health status on global and regional scales are important for setting research agendas, prioritizing interventions, and allocating resources for healthcare programs. The World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the World Bank, developed a procedure for quantitatively estimating the burden of diseases attributable to environmental risk factors (environmental burden of disease, or EBD). Conceptually, the procedure identifies how much the modifiable environment contributes to the disease burden and estimates the extent of public health improvement that can be achieved through environmental risk exposure reduction. For EBD assessments, WHO relies on an extensive review of epidemiological studies and expert surveys. The standardized methodology and internal consistency make it possible to estimate the health gaps by comparing EBD assessments across different population groups.

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