By Kanyiva Muindi, Research Officer, Urbanization and Wellbeing Research Program “Clean air is a public good; indeed no other resource exhibits the same degree of ‘publicness’. Land can be parceled and fenced;...
Health is the backbone of a nation. Sub-Saharan Africa bears a disproportionate burden of ill-health, and health remains largely under-funded by many governments in the region. In 2010, HIV/AIDS claimed up to 1.2 million lives in sub-Saharan Africa and a further 22.9 million people, including 2.3 million children, were living with HIV/AIDS. The region is also now increasingly threatened by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive respiratory disease.
Air pollution (both outdoor and indoor) is a critical public health challenge especially in the developing world where legislation on emissions control is either weak or non-existent. In these countries, majority of households rely on fuels for cooking and heating that have been classified as high source of pollution. Studies, such as this one, have documented the negative effects of both outdoor and indoor air pollution on health in other parts of the world but there have been very few such studies in Africa.
The study uses a mixed-methods approach where a qualitative study is conducted to look at the perceptions and attitudes of residents regarding air pollution and a quantitative study that measures levels of both indoor and outdoor air pollution to establish the levels of air pollution and their association with health outcomes. The project is being implemented by two APHRC researchers enrolled in a sandwich PhD program at Umea University.