By CHIOMA OBINNA
TREE planting has been prescribed as the best way to check the growing incidence of respiratory disorders such as asthma.
This was the indication even as the Lagos State Government embarked on tree planting exercise across the state, in line with studies showing that trees create vital habitat and promote biodiversity, abundant forests to enhance lives as well as save lives.
A mature leafy tree is said to produce as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.
Speaking during a tree planting exercise at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, the Chief Medical Director, Professor Wale Oke said trees are not only to beautify the environment or protect against erosion but helps improve the general well being of people.
Oke who stressed that trees and people should have what he described as symbiotic relationship” said trees absorb carbon dioxide to produce oxygen which human breathe.
He warned that “By felling trees because of development in the environment and expansion we are actually harming ourselves that is why the state government said fall one tree, plant five.”
Encouraging Lagosians to imbibe the culture of planting trees, he also explained that more trees in the environment would ensure quality health for people suffering from debilitating diseases such as asthma as well as reduce pollution in the environment.
Lamenting the increasing incidence of respiratory diseases, Oke traced the major factors to pollution in the environment. “It is important to note that when you fall a tree and you don’t plant more the cumulative effect will be more on the environment but if you imbibe the attitude of fall one tree and you plant five, you will be replenishing the environment and improving the health of the citizens.
“The truth of the matter is that most cities are full of cement structures and you will definitely have a lot of pollution in the environment because there are no more trees to reduce pollution.
“If you go to states where you have more trees, the air there is fresher. Lagos being a city promoting health and leading the whole country in so many areas, there is need for it to also embrace tree planting for others to emulate,” he added.
On debilitating nature of asthma, he explained that asthma can kill within minutes if the required attention is not given to the patient. “What many people don’t realise is that forest also acts as a giant filter that cleans the air we breathe. Definitely, tree planting can reduce the incidence of asthma in our environment.