Mongolia is facing various environmental health challenges due to rapid economic growth especially the mining sector, rapid migration from rural to urban areas, severe climatic conditions and climate change. Some of these environmental risk factors are traditional in nature such as low coverage of safe drinking water and improved sanitation services, but some are emerging such as urban air pollution, and impact from the mining sector and climate change. Hence the WHO Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) has identified environmental health as one of the five priority areas of collaboration with Government of Mongolia, in particular with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment, Green Development and the City of Ulaanbaatar. It is pertinent to prioritize these environmental health challenges and develop short and long-term strategies to address these challenges. National Environmental Health Programme is in its second phase of implementation for the period of 2011-2015.
Environmental health challenges in urban areas
Urbanization in Ulaanbaatar are causing huge environmental health challenges including air pollution due to emission from ger districts, motor-vehicles and indoor air pollution from solid fuels and improper ventilation. Other challenges facing urban growth include provision of safe water and basic sanitation including waste management, and impacts of toxic chemicals. It is necessary to focus on environmental health interventions for urban areas, especially the Capital City of Ulaanbaatar, recognizing that about 60 per cent of its population lives in urban areas.
Environmental health challenges in rural areas
In the rural areas, it is crucial to continue promoting basic environmental health interventions at primary and community based levels. These include basic sanitation, safe water supply, indoor air pollution and also the global consequences of climate change.
Strategic priority 5
- Strategic priority 1: Health system strengthening through primary health care approach
- Strategic priority 2: Scaling up prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), injuries, violence and their determinants
- Strategic priority 3. Sustaining and accelerating the achievement of health related MDG targets
- Strategic priority 4. Strengthening health security, including control of communicable and vaccine preventable diseases
- Strategic priority 5: Strengthen Environmental health programme