Investigating cooking activity patterns and perceptions of air quality interventions among women in urban Rwanda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Authors

  • Catherine A. Campbell
  • Katherine Woolley
  • William Avis
  • Patrick R. Tumwizere
  • Clement Uwanyirigira
  • Pacifique Abimana
  • Telesphore Kabera

Abstract

Household air pollution (HAP) from biomass cooking with traditional stoves is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) worldwide. Air quality interventions such as improved cookstoves (ICS) may mitigate HAP-related impacts; however, poor understanding of contextual socio-cultural factors such as local cooking practices have limited their widespread adoption. Policymakers and stakeholders require an understanding of local cooking practices to inform effective HAP interventions which meet end-user needs. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 36 women residing in biomass-cooking fuel households in Kigali, Rwanda to identify cooking activity patterns, awareness of HAP-related health risks and ICS intervention preferences. Overall, 94% of respondents exclusively used charcoal cooking fuel and 53% cooked one meal each day (range = 1–3 meals). Women were significantly more likely to cook outdoors compared to indoors (64% vs. 36%; p < 0.05). Over half of respondents (53%) were unaware of HAP-related health risks and 64% had no prior awareness of ICS. Participants expressed preferences for stove mobility (89%) and facility for multiple pans (53%) within an ICS intervention. Our findings highlight the need for HAP interventions to be flexible to suit a range of cooking patterns and preferred features for end-users in this context.

Bibliographic note

Funding Information: Funding: This study was supported by the University of Birmingham Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) award and the University of Birmingham College of Medical and Dental Sciences’ Population and Health Sciences Intercalated Degree Programme. It also received support from the International Council for Science through the Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 in Africa (LIRA 2030 Africa). Funding Information: This study was supported by the University of Birmingham Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) award and the University of Birmingham College of Medical and Dental Sciences? Population and Health Sciences Intercalated Degree Programme. It also received support from the International Council for Science through the Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 in Africa (LIRA 2030 Africa). I am extremely grateful to all the participants from the villages of Kabeza within the Nyarugenge District of Kigali and the translators from the College of Science and Tech-nology, University of Rwanda. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number5984
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • household air pollution, biomass fuel, charcoal, air quality interventions, improved cookstove, cooking activities, urban, Rwanda, women