Energy, Air Pollution and Population Health Research

Learn more about our research.


Parent and childIn Sub-Saharan Africa, exposure to household air pollution resulted in an estimated 520,000 premature deaths (7% of total) in the region. Wood and charcoal burning also contributes to climate change, deforestation and perpetuating the poverty cycle particularly for women and children who share the majority of domestic responsibilities.

CLEAN-Air(Africa) is a Global Health Research Group, funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and comprising research experts, physicians, academics and public health professionals from the UK (University of Liverpool), Kenya (Moi University), Cameroon (Douala General Hospital) and Ghana (Kintampo Health Research Centre and the University of Ghana).

The objectives for CLEAN-Air(Africa) are to inform national government strategies to scale adoption of clean household energy in Kenya, Cameroon and Ghana by understanding how best to support communities’ transition from reliance on polluting traditional solid fuels. Read more.

Evidence base for household air pollution and health

This study estimated that, in 2010, 2.8 billion people used traditional solid fuels (wood, dung, coal, etc) and simple stoves as their primary means of cooking worldwide, leading to levels of HAP (particulate matter-PM2.5) in homes some 20 to 40 times the WHO ‘safe’ air quality guideline level. Read more

Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

The research group has led on a number of systematic reviews and meta-analyses summarising the burden of exposure to household air pollution through biomass combustion in relation to a number of health outcomes including: childhood pneumonia, adult ALRI, adverse pregnancy outcomes, cataracts, cervical cancer, lung cancer and tuberculosis.. Read more

Evaluating interventions

Randomized Exposure Study of Pollution Indoors and Respiratory Effects (RESPIRE)

The first randomised controlled clinical trial to test the impact of an improved cookstove intervention on child pneumonia was conducted in the highlands of Guatemala among a population who used traditional three stone wood fires for cooking. Read more

Ethanol as a Household Fuel in Madagascar: Health Benefits, Economic Assessment and Review of African Lessons for Scaling-Up

This study was a response to a request by the Government of Madagascar for analytical support on the development of alternative sources of clean household energy and specifically in meeting the goals of the Madagascar Action Plan. Read more

An advanced cookstove intervention to prevent pneumonia in children under 5 years old in Malawi: a cluster randomised controlled trial. The Cooking and Pneumonia Study (CAPS)

This cluster randomized clinical trial has been designed to test the impact of the Philips fan stove, an advanced wood stove shown to reduce emissions in by 80-90%, on acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) in children up to the age of 5 years. Read more

Estimating intervention impacts on household air pollution concentrations

Working with Practical Action in the UK and country offices, the research group led a number of before-and-after studies conducted in poor rural communities in Kenya, Sudan and Nepal to test the impact of a range of interventions on levels of household air pollution. Read more

Developing guidelines

In November 2014, WHO released new indoor air quality guidelines (AQGs) for household fuel combustion, the third in a series of AQGs for indoor air pollution. These new guidelines aim to help public health policy-makers, as well as specialists working on energy, environmental and other issues understand best the approaches to reducing the health burden from household air pollution. Read more

Optimising upscale of improved energy technologies

‌‌Factors influencing the large-scale uptake by households of cleaner and more efficient household energy technologies

This project is aimed at identifying factors that can facilitate more successful delivery of policies and programmes that promote improved solid fuel stoves (ICS) and/or clean fuels. Read more

Evaluation of acceptability and performance of stove options for reducing household air pollution in rural west Kenya

This mixed methods study aimed to identify whether one or more solid fuel stoves, would be capable of delivering low HAP levels, and also meeting user needs. Read more

Scaling adoption and sustained use of clean fuels in Sub-Saharan Africa: The LPG Adoption in Cameroon Evaluation (LACE) Studies

The LPG Adoption in Cameroon Evaluation (LACE) Study was developed in response to the need to provide critical evidence to enhance political and donor commitment to implement the WHO Indoor Air Quality Guideline recommendation for scaled transition from solid to clean fuels to address the health burden of household air pollution. Read more

Enhancing adoption and use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG): an implementation science approach to understanding key determinants and impacts of local interventions to address financial constraints. The LPG Adoption in Cameroon Evaluation-2 Study (LACE-2)

Building on the "LPG Adoption in Cameroon Evaluation" (LACE) study in Cameroon, the LACE-2 project will complete three studies aimed at increasing adoption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a cooking fuel in peri-urban and rural regions of South West Cameroon. Read more

Energy and health equity

Following on from our work with communities in the rural Guatemalan Highlands for the RESPIRE trial, we conducted a study investigating barriers to care seeking for pneumonia and diarrhoea among rural Guatemalan children and among pregnant women. Read more.

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