Problem vs Solution
Today ambient air pollution is a widely recognized problem and it is taking the shape of a global epidemic. It is posing severe health challenges for people worldwide; in particular, people with Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRD) and heart problems, children, elderly citizens, and pregnant women. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2012 one in eight global deaths was due to prolonged exposure to air pollution. In fact, a lifetime of exposure to ambient air pollution in a highly polluted city has a higher impact on the life expectancy than lifetime exposure to passive smoking.
Air pollution is thus now the world’s largest single environmental health risk.
The challenge is that most of the time we do not know when and where we are exposed to dangerous pollution levels. This lack of information robs us of possible counter-measures that could help us address this issue. Knowledge of when and where air pollution levels are high may not only improve the overall quality of life, especially to the aforementioned people, but it can also reduce the direct costs of medical care by as high as 50% in the case of asthmatics annually as illustrated in recent medical studies in the American Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology .
We believe that reducing air pollution and its effects on humans and the environment is paramount for the future of our planet. With Hawa Dawa we are taking a small step towards this overarching goal by increasing individual awareness of the air quality in her or his respective city. Through our network-based map and services we aim to create a community of health- and environmentally aware individuals. We want to finally use this network to promote grass-root initiatives to help the less fortunate in reducing their exposure. There are many simple and affordable ways with which you can reduce your exposure to air pollutants both indoors and outdoors. In the future we will share those solutions through this blog.
This is why we created Hawa Dawa, because we want to provide a holistic solution, starting from identifying the problem to offering tailored health-benefitting solutions. This is our small contribution towards addressing air pollution and we will continue to work tirelessly to improve our solution and to materialize many of our current ideas to make this world a better place.
 Ivanova, J, et al., Effect of asthma exacerbations on health care costs among asthmatic patients with moderate and severe persistent asthma. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: 129(5). 2012.