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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-38

Awareness of indoor air pollution and prevalence of respiratory symptoms in an urban community in South West Nigeria

1 Department of Community Health, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Health, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O T Afolabi
Department of Community Health, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-4078.190036

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Background: Air pollution is often perceived as an outdoor public health problem but the air in residential buildings, cars and offices can also be polluted. Indoor air pollution (IAP) is the presence of one or more contaminants in the indoor environment that has a degree of human health risk. IAP is a risk factor for respiratory tract infection and is associated with increased risk morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Objective: The present study determined the relationship between awareness of IAP and prevalence of respiratory symptoms. Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. Respondents were selected using a multistage sampling technique. Data were collected using structured questionnaires with the aid of interviewers. Results: Two hundred and thirty-nine (95.6%) of 250 who were given questionnaires responded. One hundred and fifty (62.8%) of respondents were aware of IAP. The major source of their information was through the radio in 57 (23.8%). One hundred and four (43.5%) prepare food on the corridor with cooking with a kerosene stove, and 211 (88.3%) were using mosquito coil. Shortness of breath was reported by 49 (20.5%) while 25 (10.5%) expectorated phlegm. Respondents with exposure to tobacco smoke in the indoor environment had a 12-fold likelihood of having phlegm and an 8-fold likelihood of having shortness of breath. Conclusion: The level of awareness of IAP by the respondents was low in this study. Indoor smoking was a major determinant of respiratory symptoms. There is thus, a need for widespread health promotion to raise awareness about IAP and its effects.

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