New Delhi: The Centre for Occupational and Environmental
Health (COEH) in collaboration with Department of Community Medicine and Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College organized three-day international conference on “Current challenges in Occupational and Environmental Health” from 28th to
30th November, 2023 at Maulana Azad Medical College.
Dr. Arthur Frank, Professor of
Public Health at Dornsife school of Public Health, Professor of Medicine and Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, presided as the chief guest for the conference.
Ms. Aji Fatoumatta Joof, first secretary to High commissioner of Gambia was the guest of honour. Dr. Arthur Frank Lifetime achievement award was also given to the eminent faculties working relentlessly in the field of occupational health since decades.
The conference had international experts on environmental health from Rutgers University, University of North Carolina-Chapel hill and University of Cincinnati. Speakers from various
national institutions of repute working on the field of occupational and environmental health like, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT Delhi,
AIIMS Delhi, National Institute for Health and Family Welfare, PSRI, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, Energy and Research Institute, Assam Downtown University, National
Institute of Occupational health, National Centre for Disease Control, and several NGOs like Toxic Links, Mahila Housing Trust congregated under one roof emphasizing the relevance and need of addressing the challenges related to occupational and environmental health in India. This was a unique event where experts gathered to discuss the magnitude of rising burden of environmental challenges, impending heath effects and strived together to explore
workable solutions tailored for various geographical settings.
Focussing on the theme of “Addressing the challenges of occupational health”, the speakers
addressed various issues related to air pollution, causing a myriad of detrimental effects on respiratory and cardiovascular systems. The gravity of pollutants especially particulate matter from vehicular exhausts causing inflammation, compromising immune responses and even
leading to cognitive impairment was highlighted. Even concerns were raised about Indoor Air Pollution, emphasizing that it silently jeopardizes human health within the seemingly safe confines of homes. The urgency of addressing air and water pollution through collectiveaction, research, policy interventions, and community engagement to ensure a sustainable
future for India was emphasized.
The conference had resourceful panel discussions with several eminent experts discussing the issues of occupational health challenges in the unorganized sector and Bio medical waste management. The increasing quantum of e-waste being generated and its effect on children in digital dump sites and the recycling communities in the developing nations was brought to notice.
At the same time, attention was called towards the sources of Mercury generation, its impact on health, and also the audience was educated on ways of decontamination at source.
Speakers also delved into multifaceted challenges, examining child labour issues and challenges in modern India.
This was followed by an exploration of work-related health hazards, effective mitigation strategies, and the importance of creating safe working environments. The critical role of
industrial hygiene in ensuring workplace safety and the integration of modern technologies in
occupational health and safety were also thrusted upon. Emerging trends in office ergonomics to enhance worker productivity were presented.
Thus, highlighting the pressing need to
proactively address stressful working conditions, to create healthier work environments that benefit employees and employers.