Chimneys and Advocacy: Protection from the Negative Effects of Biomass Fuels in Remote Rural Regions with Extreme Poverty
Keywords:chimneys, India, health equity, rural practice
In developing countries, many people in remote rural regions use biomass fuels for cooking, indoor heat during the cold months, heating bathwater, and so on, as they do not have access to alternative fuel sources. The whole family gets exposed to smoke, but women suffer the most because they have the greatest household responsibility. Pregnant women also get exposed, affecting both mothers and their babies. In the villages we served, we wanted to do something about this problem. Given it was beyond our scope to provide alternatives to biomass fuels, we chose to move forward with service-oriented research on the effects of installing chimneys and offering education on protection from the harmful effects of biomass fuels. We found that though advocacy and chimneys helped, not using biomass fuels at all is most effective in minimizing the adverse health outcomes associated with it.
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