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Statement From Sumi Mehta, Vice President, Environmental, Climate and Urban Health at Vital Strategies, on World Environment Day

June 5, 2024 (New York)—“Clean air is a basic human right. Yet, shockingly, over 90% of the world’s population breathes polluted air, contributing to millions of deaths and countless illnesses including asthma, lung and heart disease, and stunted growth in children each year.

From a public health perspective, the way forward is clear: The health sector plays a critical role in accelerating action on both air pollution and climate, while shielding people from immediate health consequences of air pollution. 

Vital Strategies works at the nexus of climate and health to improve air quality—enhancing monitoring capabilities in Kenya, Indonesia, Ethiopia, India and a dozen cities around the world to track local air quality. In addition, we provide frontline health care workers with tools to respond to health issues arising from air pollution.

This World Environment Day, it’s imperative to recognize the significance of clean air action for our health and the health of our planet. By highlighting the interconnectedness of human health and planet health, we hope to see a societal movement committed to our shared goal: clean air for everyone, everywhere.”

Learn more here.

About Vital Strategies 

Vital Strategies believes every person should be protected by an equitable and effective public health system. We partner with governments, communities and organizations around the world to reimagine public health so that health is supported in all the places we live, work and play. The result is millions of people living longer, healthier lives.

To find out more, please visit or follow us on LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: 

Ally Davis,