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Birmingham And East African Partners Lead The Battle On Air Pollution: Urban Africa's Silent Killer


An alliance of African and British experts are studying the growth of cities in East Africa in a bid to understand how to save lives at risk from air pollution – one of the biggest killers in urban Africa.

Led by the University of Birmingham, the international study looks at how rapid urbanisation in three African cities - Addis Ababa, Kampala and Nairobi impacts upon air quality.

‘A Systems Approach to Air Pollution in East Africa’ brings together leading UK and East African researchers in air pollution, urban planning, economic geography, public health, social sciences and development studies to provide a framework for improved air quality management in East African cities

Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through the East Africa Research Fund, the study aims to develop new ways of monitoring air pollution to gather evidence on the causes, consequences and levels of air pollution in African cities.

Dr Francis Pope, from the University of Birmingham, said: “Urban air pollution is one of the most pressing and under-studied challenges facing cities today. Exposure to air pollution is one of the biggest causes of premature death in urban Africa today.

“Exposure to this silent killer increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease, bronchitis and many respiratory conditions. East Africa’s local governments need good quality, timely data to develop policies that deliver most impact in reducing pollution and preventing premature deaths.”

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Image Credit:  University of Birmingham