WHO Pristina Organized Online Trainings and Workshops on Health Impacts of Air Pollution and School Environments
In the frame of Healthier Kosovo, a project funded by Government of Luxembourg, WHO Pristina organized 2 online workshops and trainings in the first week of July 2020. These workshops were originally planned to be held on-person in March-April 2020, however they were postponed, and the delivery format changed due to COVID-related reasons.
In its continued efforts to support health authorities in Kosovo to address health impacts resulting from air pollution, these workshops aimed to raise the capacities and knowledge of relevant actors on these topics.
The first event was a training for Institute of Public Health (IPH) on the topic of assessing school environments. More specifically, the IPH staff was trained on the best practices to use when carrying out air pollution sampling and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) inspections in schools. Besides this training, WHO Pristina will also develop a methodology to be used by IPH, and there are also plans to support IPH with samplers and sensors to carry out monitoring in 10 schools in Kosovo.
The second 2-day event was a hybrid workshop/training on health impact assessment (HIA) and the use of AirQ+ tool. During this event, representatives from IPH, Hydrometeorological Institute of Kosovo, Kosovo Environment Protection Agency, and Agency of Statistics, participated. This diverse pool of participants was intentionally selected as all these parties play a crucial role when carrying out HIA. Jointly with these events, WHO will also prepare a methodology document and also translated a range of helpful WHO materials to be used by all these stakeholders in the future.
All these events were very successful and managed to complement one another. The IPHs capacities on these were enhanced, and the inclusion of other environment and statistics stakeholders, raised their knowledge on air pollution and health, and such inclusion contributed towards a better coordination and cooperation between these key actors.
WHO Pristina, in cooperation with relevant partners, will continue supporting the health and environment sectors to more effectively address health effects resulting from air pollution, which support will contribute towards better population health outcomes in the future.