Three Studies: Clean Cooking and Child Survival, An Update
The Alliance has been supporting three studies on cooking and child survival in Ghana, Nepal, and Nigeria since mid-2012. These studies have been undertaken to understand impacts on birth outcomes, including low birth weight, pre-term birth, and birth defects, as well as the incidence of severe respiratory illness, including pneumonia and other acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) in children under five years of age.
In April, as part of the Alliance's concentrated in-country engagement efforts in Ghana, Sumi Mehta, Alliance research director, and Claudia Thompson from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), made a site visit to the Kintampo Health Research Center (KHRC), where the KHRC and Columbia University are evaluating clean cooking technologies (advanced biomass stoves and LPG) and children’s health.
The visit revealed the impressive commitment and expertise of the local field staff, as well as the extensive trust between the community and the local health center. Pregnant women are being actively enrolled into the study, and the first study births have already taken place. Exposure results, which will demonstrate just how clean the clean stove and fuel interventions are getting, will be available by August 2014. Given Ghana’s commitment to scaling up clean cookstoves, and providing 50% of the population with access to clean fuels by 2020, the study will provide policy relevant information for Ghana and the broader global public health community. In order to ensure that local policy makers in Ghana are well primed to receive the results, the Alliance also organized a meeting of public health professionals to share an overview of the ongoing research study and to increase their awareness of the links between household air pollution and health.