Lethal cooking smoke kills thousands in Africa
Almost half a million people die each year in Sub-Saharan Africa from household air pollution, according to a new global study published today in The Lancet medical journal.
The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 estimated 464,420 deaths a year are caused by household air pollution from cooking using fuels such as wood, charcoal and animal dung. This represents 13% of the 3.5 million deaths a year directly attributed to household air pollution.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cook stoves says that the 3.5 million deaths, coupled with another 500,000 deaths attributed to diseases caused by pollution from cooking from solid fuels outdoors, takes the global total to 4 million. This is double the last estimate of 2 million deaths made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2009.
The study, which was part of a five-year project, estimates that although the risk of death from household air pollution has fallen globally by 23% between 1990 and 2010, it remains the second biggest risk factor in Western, Eastern and Central Sub-Saharan Africa.