Pan African Medical Journal

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Association between the use of biomass fuels on respiratory health of workers in food catering enterprises in Nairobi Kenya

M Keraka, C Ochieng, J Engelbrecht, C Hongoro


Introduction: Indoor air pollution from biomass fuel use has been found to be responsible for more than 1.6 million annual deaths and 2.7% of
the global burden of disease. This makes it the second biggest environmental contributor to ill health, behind unsafe water and sanitation.

Methods: The main objective of this study was to investigate if there was any association between use of bio-fuels in food catering enterprises
and respiratory health of the workers. A cross-sectional design was employed, and data collected using Qualitative and quantitative techniques.

Results: The study found significantly higher prevalence of respiratory health outcomes among respondents in enterprises using biomass fuels
compared to those using processed fuels. Biomass fuels are thus a major public health threat to workers in this sub-sector, and urgent intervention
is required.

Conclusion: The study recommends a switch from biomass fuels to processed fuels to protect the health of the workers.

Key words: Indoor air pollution, biomass fuels, health, respiratory, workers
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