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Indonesia: country report on children’s environmental health

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Abstract

Children’s bodies are in dynamic stages of development that make them more susceptible to harm from exposure to environmental agents. Children’s physical, physiological and behavioral traits can lead to increased exposure to toxic chemicals or pathogens. In addition, the social determinants of health interact with this exposure and create an increasing risk for further disparities among children. In Indonesia, the fourth most populated country in the world, children are under threat of exposure to contaminated water, air, food and soil, which can cause gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases, birth defects and neurodevelopmental disorders. A safe and balanced nutrition is still an unmet need for too many children. At the same time, the prevalence of obesity and the risk of later development of metabolic diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, are increasing as a consequence of both unhealthy diets and inadequate physical activity. The risks of potential long-term toxicity, including carcinogenic, neurotoxic, immunotoxic, genotoxic, endocrine-disrupting and allergenic effects of many chemicals, are also close to their lives. This paper provides an overview of common disease risks in Indonesian children, including: acute hepatitis A, diarrheal diseases, dengue and malaria due to lack of water supply and sanitation, vectors, and parasites; asthma, bronchopneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and acute respiratory infections (ARIs) due to air pollution and climate change; some chronic diseases caused by toxic and hazardous waste; and direct or indirect consequences due to the occurrence of disasters and health emergencies.

  1. Research funding: None declared.

  2. Conflict of interest: None declared.

  3. Informed consent: Not applicable.

  4. Ethical approval: Not applicable.

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Received: 2019-11-04
Accepted: 2020-01-31
Published Online: 2020-03-05
Published in Print: 2020-03-26

©2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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