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Household Air Pollution in Nepal

Impact of biogas interventions on household air pollution concentrations and the cardiorespiratory health of women in Gorkha district (ongoing)

Household air pollution from solid fuel use is the fourth leading health risk in the world, and substantially contributes to global morbidity and mortality as a result of pneumonia (among children), cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and cataract. Recent studies suggest that more than 80% of the Nepalese population continues to rely on biomass fuels to meet its cooking, heating and other household energy needs. Improved stoves and cleaner fuels, such as liquefied petroleum gas or biogas, are important means of reducing women’s and other family members’ exposure to household air pollution. The Biogas Support Programme of Nepal has installed more than 200,000 plants nationally since 1992, and this programme model has been successfully exported to several other countries. Surprisingly, its effectiveness has not been studied to date.

In the context of his PhD research, Maniraj Neupane (CIHLMU and Mountain Medicine Society of Nepal) in cooperation with Dr. Eva Rehfuess (Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, LMU), Dr. Rainald Fischer (LMU) and Prof. Buddha Basnyat (Oxford University Clinical Research Unit-Nepal) is undertaking an evaluation of the impact of the Biogas Support Programme in Gorkha district, one of the districts with a very large number of biogas plants installed. In a matched cross-sectional study, concentrations of carbon monoxide and particulate matter and various cardiorespiratory outcomes are compared between women who primarily use traditional woodstoves for cooking and women who have primarily used biogas for cooking during the last ten years. The results are expected to contribute to the global evidence base on the impacts of different interventions to address the significant public health challenges arising from household air pollution.

nepal project, mani measuring BP

Maniraj Neupane measuring blood pressure

Involved CIH Partners

Mountain Medicine Society of Nepal

Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, LMU