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Applications of Systems Science to Understand and Manage Multiple Influences within Children’s Environmental Health in Least Developed Countries: A Causal Loop Diagram Approach

Children’s Health and Environment Programme, Child Health Research Centre, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia
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Academic Editor: Paul Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3010; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063010
Received: 31 January 2021 / Revised: 28 February 2021 / Accepted: 8 March 2021 / Published: 15 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Least developed countries (LDCs) are home to over a billion people throughout Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Caribbean. The people who live in LDCs represent just 13% of the global population but 40% of its growth rate. Characterised by low incomes and low education levels, high proportions of the population practising subsistence living, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of economic diversity and resilience, LDCs face serious health, environmental, social, and economic challenges. Many communities in LDCs have very limited access to adequate sanitation, safe water, and clean cooking fuel. LDCs are environmentally vulnerable; facing depletion of natural resources, the effects of unsustainable urbanization, and the impacts of climate change, leaving them unable to safeguard their children’s lifetime health and wellbeing. This paper reviews and describes the complexity of the causal relationships between children’s health and its environmental, social, and economic influences in LDCs using a causal loop diagram (CLD). The results identify some critical feedbacks between poverty, family size, population growth, children’s and adults’ health, inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), air pollution, and education levels in LDCs and suggest leverage points for potential interventions. A CLD can also be a starting point for quantitative systems science approaches in the field, which can predict and compare the effects of interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: children’s environmental health (CEH); least developed countries (LDC); systems science; systems thinking; causal loop diagram (CLD) children’s environmental health (CEH); least developed countries (LDC); systems science; systems thinking; causal loop diagram (CLD)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Brereton, C.F.; Jagals, P. Applications of Systems Science to Understand and Manage Multiple Influences within Children’s Environmental Health in Least Developed Countries: A Causal Loop Diagram Approach. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3010. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063010

AMA Style

Brereton CF, Jagals P. Applications of Systems Science to Understand and Manage Multiple Influences within Children’s Environmental Health in Least Developed Countries: A Causal Loop Diagram Approach. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(6):3010. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063010

Chicago/Turabian Style

Brereton, Claire F.; Jagals, Paul. 2021. "Applications of Systems Science to Understand and Manage Multiple Influences within Children’s Environmental Health in Least Developed Countries: A Causal Loop Diagram Approach" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 6: 3010. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063010

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