JAKARTA - Air quality in a number of regions in Indonesia in recent times has been quite worrying. Commission IX of the House of Representatives asked the Government to prepare a solution to the threat of health due to air pollution, especially in children.
As is known, air pollution can trigger health problems both in the short and long term. In the short term, for example, poor air quality can trigger acute respiratory infections.
Member of Commission IX DPR RI Arzeti Bilbina encourages the Government to prepare short-term solutions to overcome air pollution for children. He emphasized that children and the elderly are the most vulnerable victims of suffering from diseases due to poor air quality.
"The impact of poor quality on the health of children can be very worrying. Children who lack endurance can easily contract the disease. This includes the elderly and people who have comorbidities," said Arzeti, Wednesday, June 7.
Commission IX of the House of Representatives in charge of health affairs realizes that the Government is preparing long-term solutions in efforts to improve air quality by intensifying the electric vehicle program to reduce pollution. Even so, Arzeti assessed that there must be short-term efforts in the health sector in dealing with the threat of poor air quality.
The threat of air pollution increases the risk of acute respiratory infections such as ARI and pneumonia. And we cannot close the eyes of air pollution can have an impact on the risk of heart disease and cancer in the long term. This should be a serious concern, "explained Arzeti.
He added that health problems cannot wait for the achievement of the Government's long-term programs, especially for vulnerable groups such as children. Arzeti also highlighted the many reports about children who have recently been easily exposed to disease.
"Children have recently been prone to coughs and flu. Not a few have also been affected by ARI. Of course, they must be watched out for because according to WHO, ARI is the main cause of death from infectious diseases in the world," he said.
Arzeti also highlighted a WHO report or World Health Organization (WHO) stating air pollution kills about seven million people worldwide every year. In the same report, about 9 out of 10 people in the world breathe bad air.
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Meanwhile, 93 percent of Indonesia's 268 million population live in areas with an average annual pollution rate exceeding the WHO set limit. IQAir noted that DKI Jakarta's air quality index (AQI US) has 156 points and makes the Indonesian capital the fifth worst in the world.
According to the reference, AQI US in the 0-50 range means good air quality, while the 51-100 range means moderate air quality, and the 101-150 range of unhealthy air quality for vulnerable groups, one of which is for children.
Furthermore, the quality of unhealthy air has a range of 151-200, the air quality is very unhealthy in the range 201-300, and the quality of dangerous air has a range of more than 301. Looking at this data, Arzeti reminded that toxic particles contained in heavy air pollution can easily enter the children's respiratory tract.
So the long-term handling of air pollution is not enough. There must be a real action effectively facing the impact of poor air quality. This must be immediate because it involves the health of children who are the next generation of the nation," the legislator from the East Java I electoral district appealed.
If detailed, the main cause of air pollution is due to the high level of vehicle emission, a lot of mobility, and constant vehicle flow, all of which make smog hanging over the city. In addition, airworthiness in the dry season also affects air quality.
Arzeti also reminded that air pollution can also occur from within the house due to household fires. For this reason, he encourages the Government to increase education and socialize to the public about the dangers of air pollution, especially for parents who have small children.
"Education such as kitchen ventilation must be well organized. Do not let the smoke cooking in the kitchen enter the children's rooms every day without us realizing it. Always remind the children to wash their hands. Keep the children out of cigarette smoke," said Arzeti.
Furthermore, this mother of three believes that the Government must further promote children's immunization programs. According to Arzeti, it is very important for parents to immunize their children on time to increase their immune system and reduce the threat of viruses and air pollution.
"Make sure motor vehicle exhausts are paid attention to because smoke is harmful to children's breathing. Protecting children from the impact of air pollution is our common investment," he added.
In addition, parents are asked to make sure their children wear protective masks, especially when they are outside the home or when driving. This, said Arzeti, can help reduce the health risks posed by air pollution.
"We as parents must also remind children how important it is to wear masks when doing activities outside the room. In addition, the use of masks when using vehicles is also important for children," he explained.
Arzeti said the government's role in intensifying education about the dangers of air pollution for children is very much needed. Good socialization is considered to increase parents' awareness of children's health while increasing public insight.
"Recognizing how important it is to protect children from the impact of very urgent air pollution. We at the DPR encourage the Government and the public to take immediate action," said Arzeti.
Commission IX of the House of Representatives also assessed that dealing with the deteriorating air quality could not be done by just one party. Arzeti said, there needs to be cooperation from every element of the nation to strive for the air to return to being clean and healthy, including from the community itself.
"Of course, the DPR is committed to supporting programs to reduce pollution emissions from motorized vehicles, utilize renewable energy, and increase industrial supervision that has the potential to pollute the air," he said.
"But we also ask for a comprehensive short-term solution in dealing with the threat of air pollution from a health perspective, as well as continuing with awareness from the public which will certainly help restore our air conditions," concluded Arzeti.
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