ASHES Webinar: Combating Household Air Pollution with Clean Energy Solutions in Ghana
Despite a growing economy and increasing urbanization, wood and charcoal remain Ghana’s primary source of energy for cooking, with over 80% of rural households and more than half of urban households relying primarily on these fuels. This translates into high exposures to household air pollution (HAP). According to Global Burden of Disease estimates, air pollution (both ambient and household) ranks as the second highest risk factor of death and disability in Ghana in 2019 (after malnutrition).
This webinar will showcase two threads of research that have been carried out by an international team led by investigators at Kintampo Health Research Centre and Columbia University. The first thread seeks to quantify the effects of household air pollution on child development. This work started with the Ghana Randomized Air Pollution and Health Study (GRAPHS), an RCT assessing the implications of clean stoves and fuels for birthweight and pneumonia in the first year of life. Ongoing studies have followed the children through age eight, and document a systematic pattern of harm from HAP exposure. The webinar will also highlight recent and ongoing studies aimed at understanding human behavior related to energy use, developing a stack of clean fuel/stove options, and transitioning entire communities towards clean alternatives.
Webinar participation is free. For the webinar, a high-speed internet connection is required. Please note that the webinar technology allows attendees to listen to audio through their computer or by phone. Additional log-in information will be provided upon registration.
Date and Time: April 20, 2022 – 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)/Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST)
Dr Kwaku Poku Asante graduated with a BSc. in Medical Sciences, MD degree, Masters in Public Health from the premier University of Ghana and a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. He is currently the Director at Kintampo Health Research Centre, an Adjunct Lecturer at University of Ghana School of Public Health, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.
Dr Asante has over two decades of experience in large community-based research in public health research and environmental health sciences. He was the Trial Director for the Ghana Randomized Air Pollution and Health Study (GRAPHS). He is currently the President of International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Africa Chapter. Dr. Asante has led research projects as a principal investigator in several African Countries including Ghana, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Guinea, and Uganda.
Dr Kaali obtained his medical degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He joined KHRC in 2013, where he leads the clinical research group. He obtained a Master of Science degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2017 and is currently studying for a PhD in Epidemiology at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.
Dr Seyram Kaali is a Clinical Research Fellow and Physician-Scientist at the Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC), Ghana. He has a strong background in environmental epidemiology with particular interest in understanding and preventing the early life effects of household air pollution, particularly those related to cardiovascular and chronic respiratory risk development. His research focuses on prenatal and early childhood household air pollution exposure and cardiovascular and respiratory risk setting.
Dr. Abubakari has a PhD degree in Population Studies and MPhil degree in Geography & Resource Development from the premier University of Ghana, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Economics from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He was the head of the Kintampo Health and Demographic Surveillance System (Kintampo HDSS), a department of Kintampo Health Research Centre between 2005 and 2013, and he is currently the head of the Environmental Health Department at KHRC.
Dr. Abubakari has almost two decades of experience and interest in population/community-based and environmental health research. He has been the lead coordinator and continues to lead a number of population and environmental health research including the Kintampo Biomass Fuel Use and Health Pilot Study launched in 2007. He currently leads the Columbia World Projects Combatting Household Air Pollution (CHAP) team at KHRC. He is the proud recipient of the 2018 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in the Humanities, University of Ghana.
Darby Jack, PhD, has been collaborating with the KHRC team on household air pollution research since 2007. He is an Associate Professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He has a PhD from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a BA from Williams College. Along with Dr. Alison Lee (MSSM) and Dr. Asante, he leads the GRAPHS cohort follow-up, and along with Dr. Kelsey Jack (UCSB) and Dr. Asante he leads the Columbia World Projects Combatting Household Air Pollution (CHAP) work.
Misbath is a PhD candidate in Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, where she is a member of the Columbia World Projects Combatting Household Air Pollution team. Her research aims to characterize the distribution of health benefits resulting from energy transitions away from polluting fuels both in LMICs and in the US. To do this, she relies on exposure modeling, epidemiology, and qualitative methods. Her goal is to generate policy-relevant findings to support equity-driven sustainable development initiatives. Prior to joining Mailman, she obtained an MPH from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and conducted work at the intersection of climate change and health in Mongolia, Tunisia, and Alaska. She is a 2021 Microsoft Research PhD Fellow and a recipient of the 2021 Young, Gifted, and Green 40 Under 40 award.