Risk factors for indoor air pollution in rural households in Mauche division, Molo district, Kenya
Background: Exposure to indoor air pollution may be responsible for nearly 2 million per year deaths in developing countries. In Kenya, it is among the factors linked to high morbidity, especially in children aged below five years.
Objectives: The survey was conducted in 2005 in 350 rural households to identify household factors that are likely to enhance indoor air pollution.
Methods: Questionnaire, continuous and spot observations were used to collect data on household characteristics, type of primary building in homestead, number of rooms, type of ventilation present and type of fuel used by the household.
Results: State of housing and type of fuel used were found to be likely risk factors for indoor air pollution. Fifty two point six percent of those interviewed live in mud walled houses with iron sheet roofs. Ninety one percent live in either single or two roomed houses. Ventilation is provided both by small windows and a space left in between the wall and roof. Thirty
seven percent of observed houses have no windows. In all households, fuel wood is used for cooking.
Conclusion: State of housing and fuel used in sampled households encourage indoor air pollution, which has been associated with various diseases.
Key words: biomass fuel, children, indoor pollution, respiratory infections, ventilation.