Indoor air pollution

Situation analysis of household energy use and indoor air pollution in Pakistan

Pakistan has one of the highest childhood death burdens in the world, and pneumonia is the most important single cause of death. As a contributor to childhood pneumonia, the country has a significant problem due to indoor air pollution from solid fuel use. Pakistan is a predominantly rural society where biomass fuels meet about 86% of the total domestic energy requirements. Ninety per cent of the rural and 50% of the urban population depend on wood and other biomass fuels. WHO/CAH therefore commissioned this situation analysis of indoor air pollution and child health as a basis for further action.

The situation analysis concludes that additional information regarding the use of biomass and other fuels, cooking behaviours and housing conditions in Pakistan is required. Different interventions to reduce indoor air pollution, such as fuel-efficient and low-emission stoves and other cooking technologies, are available and have been piloted at small scale by government, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions. These interventions should be implemented on a larger scale and their impacts assessed. Finally, a meeting of all concerned agencies working on environmental health is needed to develop a plan for future action on indoor air pollution.