New Clean Energy Research Initiative was launched yesterday to address the burden of non-communicable diseases caused by household air pollution in sub-Sahara Africa. CLEAN-Air(Africa) Initiative, a collaborative initiative between KEMRI and University of Liverpool and funded by UK National Institute for Health (NIRH), was officially launched by KEMRI Director General Prof Sam Kariuki at KEMRI Training Centre, Nairobi.
At a colorful ceremony attended by among other local and international dignitaries such as Prof. Mirium Were, a Champion for clean air and Kenyan public health advocate the first Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize winner and nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, NIHR Assistant Director Global Health Dr. Sarah Puddicombe, and Prof. Dan Pope, Director CLEAN-Air(Africa), is a five year project that seeks meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG #7 ) initiative of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.
The official launch of a new sub-Saharan African collaboration led by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) will help scale adoption of clean energy to reduce respiratory and cardiovascular disease from exposure household air pollution, responsible for 634,000 preventable deaths each year in the region.
The NIHR Global Health Research Unit on CLEAN-Air(Africa) is a £7 million (approx. Ksh. 1 billion) initiative funded by the UK National Institute for Health (NIRH) and Care research under their Global Health Research program. The collaboration brings together academic, research and clinical experts from Kenya, UK, Cameroon, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda to provide research evidence for national policies supporting populations transition from polluting solid fuels (e.g., wood, charcoal, biomass) and kerosene to clean fuels/ energy.
A five-year programme of policy-oriented research and health systems strengthening will provide an evidence base for national strategies to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 ‘Universal access to affordable and clean energy’, that will improve health (SDG3), gender equality (SDG5), economic growth (SDG8) and climate (SDG13) by 2030.
The NIHR CLEAN-Air(Africa) Unit involves research partners from KEMRI, the University of Liverpool, Moi University, University of Dar es Salaam, Makerere University Lung Institute, Rwanda Biomedical Center and Eagle Research Center and Douala General Hospital.
The NIHR CLEAN-Air(Africa) Unit is co-Directed by Dr James Mwitari from KEMRI and Professor Daniel Pope and Dr Elisa Puzzolo from the University of Liverpool. CLEAN-Air(Africa) is a flag ship initiative of the Energy, Air Pollution and Health Research Group at the University of Liverpool’s Department of Public Health, Policy and Systems.