Exposure to household air pollution has been ranked among the top ten risk factors for deaths in Kenya according to a new report by the Ministry of Health.
According to the ministry, exposure to air pollution is responsible for a staggering number of preventable illnesses & deaths across the globe making it the single greatest environmental health threat. 2020 estimates from the MOH indicate that 23,000 Kenyans died from causes of household air pollution. In 2016 statics by the World Health Organization stood at 15,140.
“99% of the people have been affected by pollution in one way or another, it could be in form of fuel, lighting or in form of smoking. Most of us have been in a household where there was smoke,” Dr. Patrick Amoth, Ag. DG of Health
The increased cases of deaths recorded from household pollution are reported to have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the majority of people were forced to stay indoors owing to movement restrictions and lockdowns.
“Air pollution exacerbates the severity of illness and deaths from COVID-19 and is the leading risk factor for deaths from pneumonia across all age groups,” Dr. Patrick Amoth.
Dr. Amoth was speaking during the launch of a facilitator’s training manual on household air pollution. The document themed “Household Air Pollution: A Silent Threat to Health and Environment. Let’s Act Together to Save Lives’’ was launched by the and Ministry of Health and development partners.