Ethiopian Journal of Health Development
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Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1021-6790
Published by African Journals Online [266 journals]
Authors: Damen Hailemariam
Abstract: Strengthening the Link between Economic Development, Environment and Public Health
Issue No: Vol. 30, No. 1
- Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution- related Health Problem in Ethiopia:
Review of Related Literature
Authors: Worku Tefera, Araya Asfaw, Frank Gilliland, Alemayehu Worku, Mehari Wondimagegn, Abera Kumie, Jonathan Samet, Kiros Berhane
Abstract: Background: The health effects of air pollution are generally global problems, but they have, since recently become issues of particular concern for developing countries. This review assessed the situation of air pollution and related health effects in the context of Ethiopia.
Methods: The materials reviewed in this publication are published scientific papers from online search engines, unpublished government reports and academic theses/dissertations. In addition, interview data obtained from authorities and experts involved in the management of air quality were analyzed, interpreted and reported in the article.
Results: Review of the few studies conducted in Ethiopia showed that average concentrations of PM2.5 reached as high as 280 μg/m3 for 24-hour measurements (range: 2,417-12,739 μg/m3). Indoor carbon monoxide (CO) levels were universally higher than regulatory limits for the United States and were found to be much higher among households using traditional stoves and solid biomass fuels. The use of traditional stoves and solid biomass fuels was reported in >95% of the households considered. High average levels of NO2 (97 ppb) were reported in a large longitudinal study. The ambient PM10 level was below the WHO guideline values in the majority of the samples. About 50% of the onroad CO samples taken from traffic roads in Addis Ababa were found to be less than the guideline values while the number of motor vehicles in Ethiopia is reported to be increasing by more than 9% per annum. There is a very limited air quality monitoring capacity in the country. The co-ordination between stakeholders in this regard is also inadequate. The limited evidence available on health effects of air pollution indicates that the prevalence of acute respiratory illness among children living in households using crude biomass fuels is significantly higher than the national average figures.
Conclusion: The limited evidence reviewed and reported in this article indicates high levels of indoor air pollution and trends of worsening outdoor air pollution. This tentative conclusion carries with it the urgent need for more evidencebased research and capacity building in the areas of indoor and outdoor air pollution
Issue No: Vol. 30, No. 1
- Occupational Health and Safety in Ethiopia: A review of Situational
Analysis and Needs Assessment
Authors: Abera Kumie, Tadesse Amera, Kiros Berhane, Jonathan Samet, Nuvjote Hundal, Fitsum G Michael, Frank Gilliland
Abstract: Background: The current rapid economic development has brought changes in workplaces in developing countries, including Ethiopia. The organization of occupational health and safety services is not yet resilient enough to handle the growing demands for workers’ health in the context of industrialization. There is limited information on the gaps and needs of occupational health services in workplaces in Ethiopia.
Objectives: The present review article describes the existing profile of occupational safety and health services in Ethiopia and identifies the current gaps and needs in the services.
Methods: Secondary data sources were reviewed using a structured checklist to explore the status of occupational safety, health services and related morbidity. Local literature was consulted in order to describe the type and prevalence of work related hazards, patterns of industries and of workforce. Published articles were searched in Google, Google scholar, PUBMED, and HINARI databases. Relevant heads of stakeholder organizations and experts were interviewed to verify the gaps that were synthesized using desk review.
Results: Ethiopia is an agrarian country that is industrializing rapidly with a focus on construction, manufacturing, mining, and road infrastructure. An estimated work force of about two million is currently engaged in the public and private sectors. Males constitute the majority of this workforce. Most of the workforce has basic primary education. Commonly observed hazards in the workplace include occupational noise and dust of various types in manufacturing sectors and chemical exposures in the flower industry. Injury in both the agriculture and the manufacturing sectors is another workplace hazard commonly observed in the country. A lack of information made assessing workplace exposures in detail difficult. The prevalence of noise exposure was found to be high with the potential to seriously impact hearing capacity. Exposure to dust in textile and cement factories greatly exceeded international permissible limits. There is a high level of workplace injuries that often leads to an extended loss of productive working days. Occupational safety and health services were found to be inadequately organized. There is limited practice in exposure assessment and monitoring. This happens to be true despite the existing favorable environment in areas of policies and regulations.
Conclusion and Recommendation: There is a severe scarcity of peer-reviewed literature related to workplace exposures and their impact on workplace health and safety. Limited adequately skilled manpower is available. The internal infrastructural capacity is weak and cannot help to identify and assess hazards in the workplace. Monitoring system and laboratory investigation is limited despite the presence of favorable policy and regulatory frameworks. Addressing these gaps is of immediate concern.
Issue No: Vol. 30, No. 1
- Review of Climate Change and Health in Ethiopia: Status and Gap Analysis
Authors: Belay Simane, Hunachew Beyene, Wakgari Deressa, Abera Kumie, Kiros Berhane, Jonathan Samet
Abstract: Background: This review assessed Ethiopia’s existing situation on issues related to the environment, climate change and health, and identifies gaps and needs that can be addressed through research, training, and capacity building.
Methods: The research was conducted through a comprehensive review of available secondary data and interviewing key informants in various national organizations involved in climate change adaptation and mitigation activities.
Results: Climate change-related health problems, such as mortality and morbidity due to floods and heat waves, vector-borne diseases, water-borne diseases, meningitis, and air pollution-related respiratory diseases are increasing in Ethiopia. Sensitive systems such as agriculture, health, and water have been affected, and the effects of climate change will continue to magnify without the right adaptation and mitigation measures. Currently, research on climate change and health is not adequately developed in Ethiopia. Research and other activities appear to be fragmented and uncoordinated. As a result, very few spatially detailed and methodologically consistent studies have been made to assess the impact of climate in the country. There has often been a lack of sufficient collaboration among organizations on the planning and execution of climate change and health activities, and the lack of trained professionals who can perform climate change and health-related research activities at various levels.
Conclusion: Firstly, there is a lack of organized structure in the various organizations. Secondly, there is inadequate level of inter-sectoral collaboration and poor coordination and communication among different stakeholders. Thirdly, there are no reliable policy guidelines and programs among organizations, agencies and offices that target climate change and health. Fourth, the existing policies fail to consider the gender and community-related dimensions of climate change. Fifth, the monitoring and evaluation efforts exerted on climate change and health activities are not strong enough to address the climate change and health issues in the country.
Issue No: Vol. 30, No. 1
- Review of Policy, Regulatory, and Organizational Frameworks of Environment
and Health in Ethiopia
Authors: Getnet Mitike, Achenef Motbainor, Abera Kumie, Jonathan Samet, Heather Wipfli
Abstract: Background: Ethiopia produced its Environmental Health Situational Analysis and Needs Assessment (SANA) report in 2010 as part of the global endeavor to characterize and underscore the importance of connecting health and environment. The assessment methods used in SANA 2010 were updated, replicated and used in this SABNA. with a focus on air pollution, occupational safety and health, and climate change.
Objectives: The purpose of the review was to examine national policies and identify gaps in regulations and organizational arrangements that determine Ethiopia’s ability to mitigate and eventually prevent the health impacts of air pollution, occupational hazards, and climate change.
Methods: The national policy and regulatory documents were reviewed. Literature was identified through electronic searches. Hard copies of past reports and policies were reviewed whenever necessary. A semi-structured guideline was used to conduct in-depth interviews aimed at identifying gaps and needs.
Results: The Constitution of Ethiopia has policy provisions related to air pollution, occupational safety and health (OSH), and climate change and health. Proclamation No. 300/2002 on Environmental Pollution Control specifies ambient air quality standards and allowable emissions. However, there were no documents that outlined the national or regional strategies that the ministries and agencies could adopt to translate existing policies, legal provisions, or guidelines for air pollution into practical programs. In the same way, a national OSH policy was lacking at the time this review was made on how occupational safety and health should be handled nationally or at lower governing levels as required by the International Occupation Safety and Health and Working Environment Convention No. 155/1981. Ethiopia is a signatory of this Convention.
Conclusions and Recommendations: The results of the situational analysis indicate that there are cross-cutting gaps in the various sectors. Among these, addressing the critical shortage of skilled personnel is an urgent priority. Most stakeholders face acute shortages of professionals and poor retention mechanisms. It is therefore important to
a) design interventions that focus on capacity building in, for example, aligning curricula with specific needs of ministries, and
b) equip professionals with the necessary technical skills.In addition, the results indicate that policies and regulations exist in theory, but in practice, there are inadequate implementation strategies to encourage adherence and enforcement of the regulations and policies
Issue No: Vol. 30, No. 1
- Health Effects of Environmental Exposures, Occupational Hazards and
Climate Change in Ethiopia: Synthesis of Situational Analysis, Needs
Assessment and the Way Forward
Authors: Kiros Berhane, Abera Kumie, Jonathan Samet
Abstract: Background: The burden of diseases caused by environmental and occupational health hazards and the effects of global climate change are of growing concerns in Ethiopia. However, no adequate information seems to be available on the current situation. This means there is a critical gap in research, policy framework and implementation in the country.
Objective: The purpose of this paper was to synthesize evidence from a systematic situational analysis and needs assessment to help establish a hub for research and training on three major themes and their related policy frameworks: air pollution and health, occupational health and safety and climate change and health.
Methods: The methods used in this work include a systematic review of secondary data from peer-reviewed literature, thesis reports from academia, government and national statistical reports. Limited primary data based on key informant interviews held with major stakeholders were also used as sources of data.
Findings: Exposures to high levels of indoor and outdoor air pollutants were found to be major sources of public health challenges. Lack of occupational safety and health due to agricultural activities and exposure to industries was found to be substantial. Worse is the growing fear that climate change will pose increasingly significant multidimensional challenges to the environment and public health. Across all three areas of focus, there was a paucity of information on local scientific evidence. There is also very limited trained skilled manpower and physical infrastructure to monitor the environment and enforce regulatory guidelines. Research, policy frameworks and regulatory mechanisms were among the cross-cutting issues that needed urgent attention.
Conclusions: Critical gaps were observed in research and training across the three themes. Also, there is a limitation in implementing the link between policy and related regulations in the environment and health.
Issue No: Vol. 30, No. 1