A call for action: Air Pollution, a serious health and economic hazard suffocating Africa
Air pollution research has been conducted in Europe and North America as well as in Asia and South America for decades. Until recently, global inventories of pollutants from North America Europe and Asia have been used for air quality and climate change modelling in Africa (Bond et al., 2004, Streets et al., 2004, Bond et al., 2007, Klimont et al., 2009, Klimont et al., 2013, Lamarque et al., 2010). Research in air pollution has, however, been lagging far behind in Africa, despite the increasing death toll and the economic impact associated with air pollution in these nations. The health impact of air pollution in African cities has only been sparsely studied: a review from 2018 (Coker and Kizito, 2018) found only 3 studies outside South Africa. Earlier last year, a study showed that air pollution was responsible for 1.1 million deaths across Africa in 2019, with household air pollution—driven largely by solid biofuel used in indoor cook stoves—accounting for 697 000 fatalities (64%), while increased outdoor air pollution claimed 394 000 lives (36%) (Fisher et al., 2021).
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