WHO Launches Innovative Air Pollution Training for Health Professionals on International Day of Clean Air

Air pollution poses a significant global health challenge, leading to an estimated 7 million premature deaths annually. Its health costs also strain the global economy, representing 6.1% of the global GDP. Recognizing the vital role of health workers in combating air pollution, WHO has developed the APHT to equip them with the knowledge to understand air pollution risks and advocate for clean air interventions.

The Air Pollution and Health Training Toolkit (APHT)

The APHT is a comprehensive resource designed for health workers, including clinical and public health professionals. Its objectives are to:

  • Understand the health risks of air pollution.
  • Identify measures to reduce these risks.
  • Advocate for clean air interventions.
  • Facilitate collaboration between civil society and governmental institutions.

Utilizing a train-the-trainer approach, the APHT enables the organization of workshops, online courses, and other learning opportunities. Its primary goal is to empower local health workers to advocate for policy changes while advising individuals and communities on reducing exposure.

Online Course Content

The initial component of the toolkit is an OpenWHO online course consisting of four modules:

  1. Outdoor (ambient) air pollution.
  2. Household air pollution.
  3. The primary health effects of air pollution.
  4. The role of health workers in addressing air pollution.

Target Audience

The free, accessible online course is designed for various health professionals, including doctors, nurses, midwives, community health workers, medical students, public health professionals, health ministry officials, and policymakers.

International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

The launch of the APHT aligns with the International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, dedicated to raising awareness about clean air’s significance for a sustainable future. This year’s theme, “Together for Clean Air,” resonates with WHO’s mission to protect human health and the environment through multisectoral action.

Webinar Series and Beyond

The course launch coincides with a webinar session featuring air quality, health, and health education experts. This event is part of the WHO Webinar Series – Clean air and energy for health, which explores the current state of science, tools, interventions, policies, and programs for clean air and better health. By bringing together experts, leaders, policymakers, and innovators, WHO aims to shape a healthier, more sustainable future for all.

In conclusion, WHO’s Air Pollution and Health Training toolkit represents a vital step towards addressing the global air pollution crisis. By equipping health workers with knowledge and resources, we can work together for cleaner air, better health, and a more sustainable future.


The World Health Organization (WHO) is unveiling a pioneering Air Pollution and Health Training toolkit (APHT) designed for health workers, as part of its commitment to addressing air pollution and promoting healthier communities worldwide. Despite air pollution’s profound impact on health, medical training often overlooks this issue. To bridge this gap, WHO has created an OpenWHO online training program, launching on this year’s International Day for Clean Air for blue skies. This initiative empowers healthcare providers to recognize air pollution’s effects, advocate for clean air, and support policy implementation.

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