Acute respiratory infection related to air pollution in Bamenda, North West Region of Cameroon
Introduction: air pollution is a global health problem. It's responsible for over 4 million deaths each year and constitutes a risk factor for acute respiratory infections (ARI). The aims of this study was to assess knowledge about air pollution, and to determine environmental risk factors associated with ARIs occurence in the city of Bamenda, Cameroon.
Methods: we conducted a cross sectional study and performed a rectrospective analysis of ARI consultation within the period March 2016 to July 2016 in the Bamenda Health District. We interviewd 201 patients and recorded 1849 cases from hospital registers of patients diagnosed ARI from January 2013 to April 2016. Epi-info 7.2 was used for data entry and analysis. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine the importance of the different environmental risk factors.
Results: over 70% of the participants used at least a form of solid fuel for cooking. The Odds of developing an ARI was 3.62 greater among those exposed to indoor cooking compared to the unexposed (OR 3.62, CI 1.45-4.90). Participants exposed to open fire burning were 1.91 times more like to develop ARI compared to unexposed (OR: 1.91, CI 1.03-3.55: p : 0.03). Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) levels was 13.2 times higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended levels. Dry and dusty weathers increased the risk of ARIs (OR 3.24; CI 1.47-7.13). The prevalence of ARIs in the Bamenda Health District was 6% of all consultations.
Conclusion: using solid fuels in poorly ventilated homes increase the total air particle suspension indoor. Inhalling this poor air irritates the repiratory tract, eyes while longterm exposure increases the odds of cancers. Ventilating homes with indoor cooking space reduces exposure while using clean fuels like electricity reduces the odds of ARI associated with pollution.