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Cookstove Workshop Targets Research Gaps, Priorities


“A large majority of the world’s households use solid fuel for cooking. Inefficient cookstoves and the air pollution they produce have been linked to low birth weight, pneumonia, lung cancer, blindness and cataracts, cardiovascular disease and other chronic ailments. What is less known is that women and girls who search for fuel risk violence and death from human predators.”

A two-day workshop organized by NIH, entitled “Health Burden of Indoor Air Pollution on Women and Children in Developing Countries,” brought together research and policy experts to hammer out research priorities to reduce the health risks of cookstoves to women and children. Merely building a better cookstove is not sufficient; real progress must account for available fuels, the cooking needs of the families and ease of repair so that the device is used and not stuffed with flowers and placed outside the dwelling.”

“This is the NIH contribution to the larger Global Alliance,” explained Dr. John Balbus of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Balbus, along with National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Associate Director Dr. William Martin and Dr. Yvonne Njage of the Fogarty International Center, organized the workshop. “And what we’re trying to do here is tee up the most critical research questions that we really have to answer in the short term, that we really have to invest the funds in now in order to ensure the success of the larger Alliance.”

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