IMPALA supports set-up of first ever air quality data monitoring sites in Cameroon and Benin

News article 17 Sep 2018

The LuLi project’s ‘Exposure to air pollution in adults with chronic non-communicable respiratory diseases (NCD-R) in Benin and Cameroon: a cross-sectional study’ took a step forward last month with training for the fieldworkers who will carry out much of the data collection later this year.

Associate Professor Sean Semple from Stirling University travelled to Douala in Cameroon and met with Associate Professor Bertrand Mbatchou (University of Douala) and Dr Herve Lawin (University of Abomey Calavi, Cotonou) and their teams. Immediately after the Spirometry training which was delivered by Lindsay Zurba, the team spent 6-8th August learning about measuring personal exposure to air pollution. A series of lectures and practical hands-on sessions examined the use of the MicroPEM, the Lascar CO logger and the Purple Air devices. Discussions also focussed on how to download and access data from the instruments and how to provide feedback on exposure concentrations to study participants.

In addition to measuring personal exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and carbon monoxide, the study team will also set up two fixed site monitors that will record data on outdoor air pollution levels in Cotonou (Benin) and Douala (Cameroon). It is hoped that minute by minute measurements will be recorded for a whole 12-month period with data being live-streamed to the internet to provide the team with real-time information on air quality at these two sites. This air quality data will be a first for these cities in West Africa.

LuLi falls under the auspices of IMPALA. This work was supported by the MRC GCRF-funded project "Lung Health in Africa across the life course” (LuLi) [grant number MR/P022006/1] and the NIHR-funded Global Health Research Unit on Lung Health and TB in Africa (IMPALA) [grant number 16/136/35]