The World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative Magda Robalo said many people in cities in the world, are facing a triple health threat, such as infectious diseases, that thrive in crowded conditions.
Citing Robalo, who addressed members of the public at the celebration of World Health Day in the capital, Namibian Press Agency (Nampa) reported that people in cities also faced increase in non-communicable diseases as their major risk factors are exacerbated by urban lifestyles and road traffic accidents, injuries and crime.
She explained that the rapid increase of people living in cities would be among the most important global health issues of the 21st century.
Over one third of city dwellers, she added, live in informal settlements without adequate basic services, such as schools, water and sanitation, roads, shelter, safe food and quality health care services.
According to Robalo, it is estimated that by 2030, six out of 10 people would be city dwellers, rising to seven out of every 10 people by 2050.
The World Bank estimates that by 2035, cities will become the predominant sites of poverty.
She said while urbanisation brings many positive benefits, such as economic growth, better educational opportunities and advancement in many cases especially in the developing world, the speed of urbanisation has outpaced the ability of governments to build essential infrastructure.
World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7, under the sponsorship of the WHO, themed "Be part of a global movement to make cities healthier". - Bernama