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Mak school of Public Health carrying out air quality tests on Mulago hospital

FILE PHOTO: Inside of Mulago hospital

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Makerere University School of Public Health is carrying out air quality monitoring at Mulago Hospital area.

In an interview with Uganda Radio Network on Friday, Dr John Ssempebwa, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health said Mulago is a sensitive area that attract serious patients with varied diseases, some of which are air quality sensitive.

This, he says is in addition to health training institutions and residences in the area.

The study is being conducted under GEOHealth Project jointly with the Department of Community Health and Behavioural Sciences. The project focuses on air pollution and health, occupational safety and health and climate change research.

“We are still analysing the data that came out in the first phase, so once those are in place, we shall be able to sit back and say, okay these are the results, these are some of the causes of air pollution around Mulago and then these are some of the ways we are going to control these. I am not quite sure of when the results will be out but we shall inform you,” Dr Ssempebwa said.

Dr Ssempebwa says however that lately, Mulago Hospital area has been a hub for serious refurbishments, with construction works which he suspects could have tampered with the air quality in the area.

He further explains that the area is a busy city suburb with heavy traffic that produces fumes which could also likely compromise the air quality.

Research published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health indicates that Air pollution is one of the leading global public health risks.

Health problems commonly associated with air pollution exposure include respiratory diseases (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections in children) and cardiovascular diseases (such as ischemic heart disease and stroke).

Dr Ssempebwa says the results from the air sampler will inform some of the practices that can be curbed to ensure clean air in the area.

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