Assessing Public Health Vulnerability due to Poor Indoor Air Quality: A Case Study of Rural Population of Rajasthan

Snehlata Tigala, Anu Rani Sharma, Kamna Sachdeva

Abstract


Background: In the present day, indoor air pollution is a global issue affecting more than 3 billion lives due to the extensive use of solid biomass fuels. Indoor air pollution has been a major cause of cardiorespiratory illnesses in low- and middle-income countries, majorly affecting women and young children. There is a greater need to understand the drivers of rural health vulnerability associated with indoor air pollution.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Indian rural setting to assess the impact of indoor biomass combustion on the respiratory health of households. A framework was designed and implemented to evaluate exposure source and risk factors associated with poor respiratory health in the subject population. A primary survey was conducted for 540 rural households belonging to different socio-economic strata. Three types of questionnaires (air quality assessment, socio-economic, health assessment) were used to investigate the determinants of health vulnerability due to exposure to indoor air pollution.

Results and Conclusion: A robust analysis displayed vulnerability of the exposed population. Risk estimation showcased high association between biomass combustion and morbidity. The findings suggest a rural ethos health determinant. The overall prevalence of chest illness is significantly affected by socio-economic indicators and environmental parameters.


Keywords


Biomass combustion, Indoor air pollution, Public health, Respiratory diseases, Women

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