03 Apr

Online PhD conferral Megha Thakur

Supervisors: Prof. Onno C.P. van Schayck, Prof. Giridhara R. Babu (Indian Institute of Public Health, PHFI, Bangalore) 

Co-supervisor: Dr. Bjorn Winkens 

Keywords: air pollution, health, slums, improved cookstoves

"Low-smoke chulha and health consequences in Indian slums"

Nearly 2.4 billion people still depend on polluting fuels and technologies for cooking. Resulting from the inefficient combustion of solid fuels and kerosene, Household air pollution (HAP) disproportionately affects the poorest and marginalized populations. Most of the studies on HAP are conducted in rural areas with little evidence from urban areas. Urban poor face a disproportionate risk to HAP because of the dense population often residing in poorly ventilated houses. A comprehensive review and analysis of literature suggested significant improvements in health of women using improved cookstoves (ICS). A randomized trial was then conducted in urban slums of Bangalore, India to evaluate the effectiveness of a locally manufactured ICS. The study did not find any clear benefits of the ICS on the health of women and children after a follow-up of six months. There was however a reduction in the prevalence of burning eyes while cooking. COVID-19 lead to premature termination of the study.

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