Air pollution major cause of death in Africa

A new report on the state of the air in Africa has been released. It shows that the African continent suffers from some of the worst air pollution and health consequences relative to the rest of the world. In 2019, air pollution was the second leading risk factor for death across Africa after malnutrition. Three quarters of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa still relies on solid fuels for cooking and are exposed to extremely high levels of household air pollutants. In addition, Africa is rapidly urbanising and is on track to have 13 megacities (cities with more than 10 million residents) by 2100. While economic development could raise the economic quality of life for many, it is important that air pollution sources are not allowed to grow unchecked to further add to the existing air quality problem. The big potential for clean energy, such as solar, will be crucial in determining Africa’s air quality future as well as improved public health.

Reference: Health Effects Institute. 2022. The State of Air Quality and Health Impacts in Africa.

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