Air pollution in Ghana: Public health risk, sources, and low-cost sensors

In this episode we discuss air pollution in Ghana and its intersection with public health, sources, and measurements using low-cost sensors.

  • How does air pollution intersect with other health concerns, such as that of nutrition in Ghana?
  • What are the sources of air pollution in a country like Ghana?
  • What are the differences between household (indoor) and ambient (outdoor) air pollution?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of low-cost air pollution sensors and how can they be used to inform policy action on air quality?
  • What are the challenges of doing air quality research in Ghana?

Our guest Dr Kofi Amegah is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. His expertise includes nutritional and air pollution exposure assessment, and the quantification of the effects of these exposures for maternal, perinatal and cardiovascular health through statistical modelling techniques. He has taught courses in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Nutrition and Environmental Health over the years. Most recently, he has been working to deploy low-cost air quality monitors in Ghana and is part of a larger group working across countries in Africa.

Our interviewer for this episode is Priyanka deSouza. She is a PhD researcher at the Senseable City Lab at MIT, where she works on characterizing air pollution in cities using mobile monitoring and satellite imagery. deSouza was previously a consultant at UN Environment where she deployed a low-cost air quality monitoring network for Nairobi. She has degrees in energy engineering, environmental science, and business from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and the University of Oxford where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

Episode references:

Music by Ritesh Prasanna.

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