Today, nearly one-fourth of global deaths are attributable to physical, chemical and biological factors that do not include individual behavior. The risks can be reduced, but only with attention and action at the root environmental causes of ill health.
In 2016, Vital Strategies created its Environmental Health division with the intention of using the tools of public health to ensure healthy and sustainable outcomes for people living in an increasingly urbanized world. This means developing the technical capacity to address environmental threats beyond the traditional span of public health control— reducing air pollution, mitigating climate change, and improving water, sanitation, and transportation systems. It involves assisting in prioritizing investments that can amplify health gains in urban areas, and engaging the public to recognize the immediate and long term health impacts as the world urbanizes, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.