The CABIN network

Household air pollution (HAP) caused by burning biomass fuels like wood, crop residues and charcoal is a serious health problem in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that HAP contributed to 3.8 million deaths in 2016 worldwide. Exposure to HAP during pregnancy can lead to health problems for the unborn child – infants are at greater risk of stillbirth, low birth weight and respiratory problems (reduced lung function, and increased hospitalisation for pneumonia). These health problems may persist throughout the child’s life.

During pregnancy, expectant parents’ attitudes to health risk may change as they strive to provide the best for their future child. This can offer opportunities for behaviour change interventions. Therefore, interventions have been developed to promote smoking cessation and smoke-free homes during pregnancy. These interventions may stress temporary rather than permanent behaviour change, only during pregnancy, to better target individuals (mothers and fathers) with lower motivation.

Similar targeted interventions are feasible to reduce exposure to HAP. There may be lessons to be shared between researchers on HAP, tobacco control and maternal-neonatal health to identify new strategies to promote behaviour change, such as mHealth interventions now common in smoking cessation research.

This network will include researchers in tobacco control, HAP and neonatal health from Kenya, Malawi, the DRC, Ghana, South Africa and the UK to identify potential strategies to reduce HAP exposure reduction in pregnancy and improve outcomes for mothers and babies.

Theme by the University of Stirling