The World Health Organization (WHO), has published a research report that suggests that over 6,500 people die in Ghana every year from air pollution.
According to the research, acute respiratory illness caused by air pollution is one of the top 10 causes of outpatient hospital visits in the country.
The shocking revelations were made as part of the World Earth Day, which is celebrated in more than 193 countries on April 22 .
Professor Samuel Abyei-Mensah, a medical geographer at the University of Ghana, explained on Joy FM news that though the national air pollution levels in Ghana are higher than that of the WHO’s standards, one is more likely to die from the pollution depending on where they live.
He said that, where a person lives and the type of fuel he/she uses, as well as the exposures based on environment factors make a very significant impact. "We noticed that at densely populated areas like Nima, James Town, the levels were relatively high compared to the high-class residential area of East Lagon and middle-class area, Asylum Down," he explained.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also hinted that it will take punitive measures on cars that pollute the environment. Angelina Mensah, Head of Public Affairs at the EPA told Joy News that emission tests will soon be included in the road worthy examinations for all cars.
As a matter of policy, only cars with low emission should be certified by the Drivers License Authority (DVLA). But this has not been implemented because some mechanic workshops have to be set up to check the vehicles.
World Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.