Breath of Fresh Air

Introduction

Air pollution is the apparent cause of many harmful health conditions. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Asthma, loss of lung capacity and decreased lung function are among the list of diseases which could be found within the general population due to the detrimental effects of air pollutions (Hankey and Marshall, 2017). As a result, specific conditions are created which directly impact not only the health of adults but the health conditions of children as well. The aim of the project is to assess the effects of air pollution on the children within central London and to raise awareness of lung health, through the 'lung strong' health promotion.The study focuses on evaluating the negative effects of air pollution on children within the United Kingdom; analysing impact of such air pollution on children’s breathing and raising awareness of simple breathing exercises which could contribute to better lung health. The paper is effective to discuss the health issues for air pollution and its impacts mainly on the children, stayed at Central London as well as developing the health promotional intervention planning to protect the children and raise awareness to maintain strong lung.

Background of Health issues

A joint survey collected by the UNICEF UK and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health found that “92% of Child health experts believe public health should be more concerned about negative impact of air pollution on children’s health”. (Child health experts warn air pollution is damaging children’s health, 2019). Moreover, it has been found that the air pollution can harm the health of the children inmultiple and differential manner (Brenner et al., 2018). As the lungs of the children are mostly at the developing stage, the effects of air pollution can reduce such appropriate development and subsequently impartnegative impacts over the lungs of such affected children. Hence, the intervention for adjusting with the air pollution would be strengthening the lungs of the children in general . Thus, the following health promotion plan can help in this intended process (Hoffmann, 2019).

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This care plan is an artificial case study which will outline the impact of air pollution on a national level and the diseases caused by air pollution, whilst evaluating the detrimental effects on children at London and a strategy to raise awareness among the public which are simple for the children to also benefit from. This health promotion care plan would target the communities and various clinical areas in order to effectively reach our targeted audience and help the children to improve their health condition (Korten, Ramsey and Latzin, 2017).

There’s nothing quite like the first breath every morning. The pyramid-shaped organs inside our chests consume Oxygen from the air in order to maintain Homeostasis within the body.

"The substance of the lung is dilatable and extensible like the tinder made from a fungus. But it is spongy and if you press it, it yields to the force which compresses it, and if the force is removed, it increases again to its original size." -- Leonardo da Vinci, late 15th century (Stanford education, 2019).

Assessment of the issue

Air is the primary essence that allows our living planet to breathe, with its mixture of gases filling the atmosphere and providing all living creatures on Earth with life. “Air is mostly made up of two gases, Nitrogen (78%) and Oxygen (21%); it also contains a few other gases which go by Argon and Carbon dioxide”. (Explain that stuff, 2020).

Air pollution is mainly the outcome of gas released into the atmosphere, in a large enough quantity to cause harm to the general health of living creatures. Children’s exposure to pollution can differ from that of adults. Location can be a key factor in this, areas which generally have high traffic, contain higher concentrations of pollution. The major ambient air pollution sources generally include vehicular, sources of power generation, agriculture and waste disposal/incineration and industry. Children tend to spend greater amount of time outdoors, in parks or in their gardens playing or participating in group activities (Quaife et al., 2017). Whereas, in comparison, adults spend greater amount of time indoors and therefore have a slightly lower risk exposure rate. Inhaling some of the poisonous air pollutants can increase the risk of health complications related to the heart and lungs and it mainly affects the children in the society. The World Health Organisation classifies air pollution as ‘ambient air pollution’ stating that it ‘accounts for an estimated 4.2 million deaths per year due to cerebral strokes, heart disease, lung cancer and chronic respiratory diseases’ (World Health Organization, 2020).

Today, Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting the health conditions of both the adults and children within the UK. Although much time has been spent on treatments and clinical research, the cause/causes of this respiratory disease are still somewhat of a mystery (Health Development Agency, 2005). However, environmental factors have been seen to play a large factor in the prevalence of this disease.

Certain allergic rhinitis tends to act as stimuli, activating symptoms amongst the public. Other allergens such as pollen, a common airborne allergen; pollutants within the air such as tobacco fumes, traffic fumes and even animal fur have also been known to trigger an internal symptomatic episode (Haber, 2019). Though, other triggers which relate to a biological factor such as mental states can further exasperate these episodes. Stress, anxiety, respiratory infections, exercise and cold weather have also been known to trigger asthmatic episodes (Asthma UK, 2007).

In addition to this, air pollution can have a range of effects on an individual’s health. Noticeable effects of air pollution can target different groups of people. For children, with existing heart or lung conditions there is an increased risk of becoming ill and need for further treatment. Therefore, children with already a pre-existing condition like Asthma will notice an increase in use of their reliever medications on days of higher air pollution than average. The general population may also portray allergic symptoms on these days. However, the higher concern is the development of a number of children with weak heart and lung capacity and also vulnerability to infectious diseases as well. In terms of the air pollution and the health concerns, it can be found that the minimal lung capacity can also develop different health issues and these issues can also affect the patients throughout their entire lives. Thus, the concern should be raised and the awareness regarding change of the situation should be considered with highest priority (Vardavas et al., 2018).

As per the UNICEF and World Health Organisation, it can be seen that the condition of the world regarding the lung health, especially amongst children, is not near the safe level. As per UNICEF data it has been seen that the rate of air pollution is high in UK and 86 per cent of child population of the country is breathing under a negative condition rather inhaling dangerous air every day (Unicef UK, 2020). UNICEF hence, seeking the intervention for improving the health condition of the children of UK through developing a framework of fresh air providence to the children. On the other hand, WHO data showed that the 93 per cent of children of the world population live under the detrimental influence of air pollution which can be marked by WHO as above sustainable level (World Health Organisation, 2018). Moreover, the data also showed that 543000 children under five years of age have died in the year 2016 due to ambient or household air pollution as severe respiratory tract infection occurred amongst these children (World Health Organisation, 2018). Thus, the condition clearly highlights that the air pollution is affecting the lung health of children and as the lungs of the children are not mature enough, these get affected by the air pollution easily. Thus, it can be found that awareness and also proper intervention should be developed in order to reduce the risk of child mortality. Thus, a health promotion plan should be developed for eliminating the issues or the effects of the air pollution on the health of the children.

There is little opposition to the notion that air pollution is harmful to the lungs and therefore the human health. Infants and children are highly vulnerable to air pollution due to the condition of their lungs, as they are still developing and growing. This exposure to harmful air pollution can therefore impair their development and growth of their lung function not only in the womb but also during early childhood all the way to their late teens. In a study led by Queen Mary University of London, Kings College London and the University of Edinburgh, they drew a correlation between air pollution in London and poor lung capacity of children which put these children at risk of lifelong breathing complications (London, 2018).

Goal of the intervention program

The goal of the promotional campaign is to assess the effects of air pollution on children within central London and to raise awareness of lung health by using the 'lung strong' health promotion. The aim of such health promotional campaign is to protect the children at London, from the consequences of air pollution and improve their mortality rate in long run and standard of living condition by educating them and supporting them for healthy life style.

Intervention program

The care plan will outline recommendations in order to improve lung health for children within the UK. It will involve raising awareness for lung health and initiating a lung exercise protocol in order to help implement breathing exercises into their daily lives. In order to make the children aware, the effort of awareness spreading should be focused on the national context and also the adult citizens of the country should be made aware of such problems as well. It should be highlighted that the effects of the air pollution are affecting the health of England drastically and it also holds an amount in the world population as well (McDougal, Lasswell and Chen, 2018). Hence, in terms of this negative condition the health care plan should be developed for the intervention purpose of the air pollution related diseases. It has been seen that the respiratory tract infection and Asthma are the most prominent factors that lead to the negative condition of the increased mortality or disability among the children. Hence, in order to reduce the risk, the UNICEF mediated clearing the air for children framework is useful (UNICEF UK, 2020). However, it is a large program and dependent on different factors which would take a large amount of time to be effective. Hence, the alternate programs should be developed to at least effectively reduce the disability of lung function or infection of the lung among the children. Based on this context, it can be stated that the awareness development among the citizens and subsequent assistance provided to the children to develop healthy lungs would be the most effective process. The process can be termed as “Lung Strong”. This process will be focusing on the breathing exercises and subsequently will be improving the lung functions regardless of the differentials in the lung conditions of the children (Schultz, Litonjua and Melén, 2017).

This program will be focusing on the health of the children regarding the lung conditions. The program is effective to raise awareness and protect the children for better physical condition mainly the lung functions. The program will comprise of breathing exercises which can be effective for the lung strengthening and also the effective awareness development so that the effects of the air pollution can be reduced. The awareness program will be focusing on the family members of the children to at least reduce the household air pollution rates (EurekAlert, 2020). The children, on the other hand, could be trained to do daily breathing exercises in order to strengthen their lungs as the lungs of children are not as mature as the adults. On this context, it can be stated that this health promotion program would be developed with consideration of four primary stages such as the data collection and identification of the vulnerable population, awareness program, training process and the evaluation (Hubley and Copeman, 2018).

It has been seen that the focal point of the health promotion is the children of the UK. However, there are some disparities in the condition which can be marked that the people from the backward class have a higher risk of development of Asthma, respiratory tract infection, lung cancer and other diseases. Hence, in terms of identifying the most vulnerable population, the health promotion team should conduct a literature review on this factor and also conduct an observational data collection or survey-based data collection about the context of the health regarding the lung functions of the backward class population. This literature review and the survey or observational data would be effective in the identification of this issue and the most affected population for this issue (Joschtel et al., 2018). After the data collection, data analysis would be conducted for adjusting the age-based disease rates and the mortality rate as the focus is on the children of the country (Pleasants, Riley and Mannino 2016). Thus, the factor of the data collection would lead to the clear understanding of the context. The data collection and data identification process would take at least 2 to 3 weeks and after this, the awareness program can be developed and conducted (Meneses, Alba-Ramírez and Correa-Bautista, 2017).

The training program would be focusing on the children mainly. In this program the health promotion staffs that are the community nurse and the health educators will train the children with the proper knowledge of the breathing exercises. The breathing exercises will help the lungs of the children to be matured and adjust with the negative condition of the air pollution. It should also be focusing on the practice generation among the children in order to make the lungs strong. The “Lung Strong” program is primarily focusing on this stage of the health promotion program only (Flohr et al., 2018). The breathing exercises will improve the inhale and the exhale capabilities of the children which eventually help the children to strengthen the respiratory muscles (Who.int, 2020). This would also lead to immunity development amongst the children against the infectious materials of air and subsequently reduce the risk of the respiratory tract infection issues. The asthma patients would also be provided with proper training of the breathing exercises so that the children affected will not adhere to the supplementary medicines of Asthma (Schmidt 2016). Hence, the program will be focusing on the positivity development amongst the children against the negative impacts of the respiratory related issues. This program will take at least 6 to 8 weeks to be completed (Lee, Button, and Tannenbaum, 2017).

Evaluation of the findings

The above mentioned program will be conducted after the training program for the “Lung Strong” process. The evaluation will be seeking of the effects of the training and awareness program. The evaluation will use the measurement process of the household air pollution and also the effectiveness of the knowledge of the people through the interview. The evaluation process then focuses on the children by the observation process which will focus on the regularity of the breathing exercises amongst the children of the community (Meneses-Echávez, Alba-Ramírez and Correa-Bautista, 2018). Then, the effectiveness of the knowledge of the children will also be measured through the parent-based interview process. Moreover, the evaluation process would also test the breathing rates and the muscle functionality of the children for the assessment of the effectiveness of the knowledge and the training among the children. It can also use blood test which would identify the infection rate of the children as well (Lee, Button and Tannenbaum 2017). Hence, the evaluation process will completely assess the usefulness of the program and any identified flaw could be rectified and reforms should be introduced for obtaining of better results. The evaluation program will be conducted for at least 10 weeks after the program ends (Web.stanford.edu, 2020).

The health promotional awareness program would be performed through spreading of attractive pamphlets and leaflets amongst the children and the adults of the identified community. After the pamphlets and leaflets could be disseminated amongst the people, health promotion team would conduct a seminar-based awareness program so that all the people of the community would be provided with proper knowledge regarding the health issues and the effects of existing air pollution. It should be stated that, the process of the awareness program would focus on the negative effects of the air pollution and the causes which generate air pollution (Joschtelet al. 2018). It also would educate the people regarding the methods which could be applied to effectively reduce the air pollution levels within the community. Thus, the awareness program will be providing education to the people of the community to reduce the negative impacts of air pollution largely. The awareness would also be provided to the adults to let them understand the severity of the problem and the effects of this issue on their children. The awareness program will be conducted for at least 4 weeks.

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Conclusion

Based on the above discussion it can be concluded that air pollution has a great impact over the health of children at UK especially regarding the respiratory issues. It has been seen that the air pollution reduction frameworks are there to reduce the disparities of health related to the respiratory organs of children. However, these frameworks are too large and not effective in the short term. Hence, the intervention of the condition should be focused on the children and awareness development amongst the citizens of the country. The “Lung Strong” program is one of these programs which can be developed with the considerations of the knowledge development and changing the lifestyle practices so that the lungs of children can develop healthily as the adults. Risk of COPD, Asthma, respiratory tract infection and other lung diseases can be reduced with the help of the above-mentioned intervention procedures. Moreover, it can be stated that this process can also reduce the mortality rates and the negative implications regarding health of the UK children effectively. Hence, the intervention of the “Lung Strong” should be conducted and considered for the reduction of the health disparity amongst the UK children and adults as well.

This health promotion program would assist a community nurse in the knowledge development and also in the career development process so that the nurse can develop plans with greater efficacy to reduce health disparities of the community mainly among the children. Furthermore, the nurse can help the health care system by reducing the health care cost and also effectively reduce the negative health impacts of the children and adults.

References

Asthma UK, 2007. All About Asthma. [online]. London: Asthma UK [cited 20th December 2019].

Brenner, A.T., Malo, T.L., Margolis, M., Lafata, J.E., James, S., Vu, M.B. and Reuland, D.S., 2018. Evaluating shared decision making for lung cancer screening. JAMA internal medicine, 178(10), pp.1311-1316.

Flohr, C., Henderson, A.J., Kramer, M.S., Patel, R., Thompson, J., Rifas-Shiman, S.L., Yang, S., Vilchuck, K., Bogdanovich, N., Hameza, M. and Martin, R.M., 2018. Effect of an intervention to promote breastfeeding on asthma, lung function, and atopic eczema at age 16 years: Follow-up of the probit randomized trial. JAMA pediatrics, 172(1), pp.e174064-e174064.

Haber, D., 2019. Health promotion and aging: Practical applications for health professionals. Springer Publishing Company.

Hankey, S. and Marshall, J.D., 2017. Urban form, air pollution, and health. Current environmental health reports, 4(4), pp.491-503.

Health Development Agency, 2005. Asthma: Breathtaking epidemic. Health Development Agency Magazine, December/January 2005.

Hoffmann, B., 2019. Air pollution in cities: Urban and transport planning determinants and health in cities. In Integrating Human Health into Urban and Transport Planning (pp. 425-441). Springer, Cham.

Hubley, J. and Copeman, J., 2018. Practical health promotion. John Wiley & Sons.

Joschtel, B., Gomersall, S.R., Tweedy, S., Petsky, H., Chang, A.B. and Trost, S.G., 2018. Effects of exercise training on physical and psychosocial health in children with chronic respiratory disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ open sport & exercise medicine, 4(1).

Korten, I., Ramsey, K. and Latzin, P., 2017. Air pollution during pregnancy and lung development in the child. Paediatric respiratory reviews, 21, pp.38-46.

Lee, A.L., Button, B.M. and Tannenbaum, E.L., 2017. Airway-clearance techniques in children and adolescents with chronic suppurative lung disease and bronchiectasis. Frontiers in pediatrics, 5, p.2.

McDougal, M.S., Lasswell, H.D. and Chen, L.C., 2018. Human rights and world public order: the basic policies of an international law of human dignity. Oxford University Press.

Meneses, J., Alba-Ramírez, P.A. and Correa-Bautista, J.E., 2017. Raising Awareness for Lung Cancer Prevention and Healthy Lifestyles in Female Scholars from a Low-Income Area in Bogota, Colombia: Evaluation of a National Framework.

Meneses-Echávez, J.F., Alba-Ramírez, P.A. and Correa-Bautista, J.E., 2018. Raising awareness for lung cancer prevention and healthy lifestyles in female scholars from a low-income area in Bogota, Colombia: Evaluation of a national framework. Journal of Cancer Education, 33(6), pp.1294-1300.

Pleasants, R.A., Riley, I.L. and Mannino, D.M., 2016. Defining and targeting health disparities in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. International journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 11, p.2475.

Quaife, S.L., Marlow, L.A., McEwen, A., Janes, S.M. and Wardle, J., 2017. Attitudes towards lung cancer screening in socioeconomically deprived and heavy smoking communities: informing screening communication. Health Expectations, 20(4), pp.563-573.

Schmidt, H., 2016. Chronic disease prevention and health promotion. In Public health ethics: Cases spanning the globe (pp. 137-176). Springer, Cham.

Schultz, E.S., Litonjua, A.A. and Melén, E., 2017. Effects of long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution on lung function in children. Current allergy and asthma reports, 17(6), p.41.

Vardavas, C.I., Bécuwe, N., Demjén, T., Fernández, E., McNeill, A., Mons, U., Tountas, Y., Trofor, A.C., Tsatsakis, A., Rohde, G. and Willemsen, M., 2018. Study Protocol of European Regulatory Science on Tobacco (EUREST-PLUS): Policy implementation to reduce lung disease. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 16.

World Health Organisation, 2018. AIR POLLUTION AND CHILD HEALTH.


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