Respiratory infections top Bali’s health problems
Denpasar: Local health authorities are urging the public, particularly those living in urban areas, to improve their personal hygiene and sanitation, as well as to reduce their exposure to air pollution and waste, warning that acute upper respiratory tract infections had become the most frequent health problem on the resort island.
Bali Health Agency data showed that as many as 1.3 million, out of the island’s total population of 3.9 million, suffered health problems in 2011. As many as 550,000 individuals, or 45 percent of the 1.3 million sick individuals, fell ill due to acute upper respiratory tract infections. Other top health problems included diarrhea, high blood pressure and skin allergies.
“This pressure from the surrounding environment — the high level of air pollution and deteriorating living conditions — and its impact on human health is difficult to avoid, yet it doesn’t mean that we cannot reduce this pressure,” the agency head, I Ketut Suarjaya said.
Acute upper tract respiratory infections have several symptoms, including muscle pain, coughing, headache and sore throat. They are commonly caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi. The infection covers several medical conditions, including rhinitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and laryngitis.
Denpasar environmental agency received 50 pollution-related complaints in 2011. Car garages, live stock farms and textile industries were identified in the complaints as common sources of pollution.