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UoN researchers to undertake air quality monitoring in Nairobi

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(From left) Prof. Jonathan Samet, the Dean, Colorado School of Public Health, Prof. Kiros Berhane, University of Southern California and Prof. Julius Ogeng’o, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs engage in discussions at the meeting.

The University of Nairobi in partnership with GEOHealth Hub will undertake air quality monitoring and impacts on the health of the people in Nairobi.

The Kenyan Centre for GEOHealth will be based at UoN. The project is focused on Global Environmental and Occupational Health issues.
 
“The research will focus on the impacts air pollution has on children in ten schools in Nairobi County. In addition, the monitoring equipment will be set up at the UoN’s School of Law Campus and six hospitals in the county,” said Prof. Nicholas Oguge, Director, Centre for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law Policy, UoN. Prof. Oguge was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Julius Ogeng’o with a team from the GEOHealth Hub that is headquartered in the University of Southern California, USA on February 25, 2019.
 
“In addition, we seek to undertake a study on occupational impacts of climate change in flower farms,” added Prof. Kiros Berhane from the University of Southern California. “Interestingly, there is little or no studies conducted on the impact of air pollution and health on mortality and mobility on the population of Nairobi. We will be doing this for the first time in Kenya.”
 
There will be a spectrum of activities at the GEOHealth Hub including research, training, capacity building and stakeholder engagement.
 
“The air quality monitors that will be set up in the various locations will collect data on air pollution. The data will show the spread of air quality in the county,” said Prof. Jonathan Samet, the Dean, Colorado School of Public Health. “The data will be very useful and informative especially in influencing policy and decision making.”
 
On his part, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof. Julius Ogeng’o commended the team on the progress made in implementing the project and assured them of the university management’s support.
 
“This project is addressing health issues that have never been at the forefront before,” he said. “More attention needs to be paid to non-communicable diseases. This initiative puts the University of Nairobi at the forefront in addressing a pressing societal issue. I am glad that this project involves monitoring children. This project looks at mortality and mobility today and projects the mortality and mobility for tomorrow as these children will grow up to be adults.”