Last month, Dr. Roberto Lucchini, professor of environmental health sciences at the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, participated in the 6th G-STIC Conference , a global meeting organized by Vito (Belgium), Fiocruz (Brazil) and the SDSN network for the United Nations, among others.
The event, held for the first time in the Americas, brought together experts in science, technology and innovation to discuss strategies to ensure a sustainable post-pandemic recovery based on equity, resilience and justice. During the event, participants endorsed a manifesto that recognizes the commitment to accelerate the UN 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The focus of this high-level meeting was on the intersection of climate change and environmental threats on human and planetary health, focusing on air pollution, microplastics and ocean contamination, with highly concerning repercussions on social and ethnic minorities. Dr. Lucchini discussed the role cities play in health emergency preparedness and response in an in-depth session coordinated by the Institute of Global Health of Barcelona.
Given his experience with the World Trade Center Health Program, Dr. Lucchini remarked on the need for better preparation and management in terms of immediate exposure assessments of hazards that are released as a consequence of various types of disasters, and the need to track all responders for physical and mental health follow-up surveillance. Post-pandemic revisions of emergency plans should include these inputs based on lessons learned from the past.
Read Dr. Lucchini's piece on The Conversation: 9/11 survivors’ exposure to toxic dust and the chronic health conditions that followed offer lessons that are still too often unheeded