Capacity Building for Household Air Pollution Monitoring in East Africa
There is a major gap in capacity for research and evaluation of household air pollution (HAP) in countries with the most pressing needs for interventions. In support of the recent launch of the Eastern Africa GEO Health Hub, the Alliance sponsored a technical workshop on HAP monitoring in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia gathering 45 researchers from around the world to learn innovative measurement methods and discuss future research needs.
The 3-day workshop was organized in partnership with Addis Ababa University and hosted by the Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center and Network (HoA-REC&N) at their training facility in the Gullele Botanical Garden. The forty-five participants hailed from Bangladesh, Canada, Ethiopia, the Gambia, India, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Peru, and the United States.
Participants explored different methods and technologies available for addressing different research questions, gained hands-on experience deploying a variety of portable environmental samplers in real semi-urban household settings, and were exposed to data management and interpretation strategies. The lectures, activities, and group discussions highlighted the unique ability of the Alliance to gather knowledge from around the world, gain insight into the methodological challenges that different regions face, and strengthen local capacity to evaluate and address the effects of HAP that plague nearly half of the world’s population.
In addition to the training event, the Alliance’s Senior Director of Research and Evaluation, Sumi Mehta, met with representatives of the World Health Organization, the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, and the Thoracic Society. Plans are underway for continued Alliance presence in Ethiopia, as well as the replication of the Continuing Medical Education training that took place in Ghana earlier this year.
Be sure to check out Dr. Mehta’s interview on a local news channel discussing household air pollution and health in Eastern Africa!