The increase in lung related diseases suffered by Nigerians has been attributed to high cost of kerosene and cooking gas, national president of the Nigeria Thoracic Society, NTS, Prof Etete Peters has said.
Peters, who is also the chief medical director of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, made this known yesterday in Uyo at the opening of this year’s NTS Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference.
The national president noted that the development had also led to the use of firewood, considered a major source of household air pollution, in domestic cooking by more than 98 percent of rural dwellers in the country.
“In families this practice has its attendant health challenges which the subsistence producers are not really interested in. The use of cooking gas and kerosene stove are not considered a priority due to the cost of these products,” he said.
Peters also identified the lack of a legislation controlling the smoking of tobacco in public places as the cause of increase in lung related diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and many deaths, especially among children and pregnant women.
He therefore called on the federal government to consider alternative funding of cooking gas and kerosene to reduce the effect of household air pollution on Nigerians due to the use of firewood, and commended the efforts of previous administration to introduce mass safe cooking stoves.
In a keynote address, the guest speaker, Prof Abdullahi Abba attributed increase in household air pollution to the cheapness of high pollutants like firewood, and expressed worry that the menace had continued to increase in Africa and India while it had been on the decrease in China.
Abba, a Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, explained that household air pollution accounts for 50 percent of deaths among children in developing countries, with indoor and outdoor pollution causing at least two million and one million deaths, respectively, annually worldwide.

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