Environmental factors play a major role in determining the health and well-being of children. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 30 % of the global burden of disease in children can be attributed to environmental factors. Environmental risk factors often act in concert, and their effects are exacerbated by adverse social and economic conditions, particularly conflict, poverty and malnutrition. The Euro-Asian Association for Children#39;s Environmental Health (EACEH) founded in 2006, is a non- governmental organization (NGO), working to ensure a healthy, just and sustainable future for all children in the Euro-Asia Countries. The association arose from a meeting held in Almaty , Kazakhstan on 25-28 April 2005, entitled "Children#39;s Environmental Health in Central Asia and the Middle East ".
The conference had attendees from most of the countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus, from Russia, Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan and Palestine, as well as representatives from the World Health Organization, the US National Institutes of Health and Environmental Protection Agency and a few US and Canadian scientists. The meeting focused on the variety of children#39;s environmental health issues, and it became very apparent that the major concerns - safe and adequate drinking water food, air pollution, chemical and radiological contamination, injury - were common to all countries, and that the diseases resulting from these problems - infectious diseases, neurobehavioral decrements, birth defects, asthma, cancer and other organ dysfunctions - were also common. In the closing session of the conference the suggestion was made that a regional organization be created to sustain the momentum and desire for cooperation that had been generated by this meeting.
This suggestion was welcomed by all of the participants, and as the meeting ended one individual from each country was identified to serve as a planning committed for the development of a regional association.