Health risk perceptions of household air pollution and perceived benefits of improved stoves among pregnant women in rural Ethiopia: a mixed method study

BMJ Open. 2023 Aug 30;13(8):e072328. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-072328.


OBJECTIVE: Since community perceptions of the risk of biomass smoke and the benefits of improved stoves play a critical role in behaviour change to the uptake and sustainable utilisation of improved stoves, we aimed to assess the level of health risk perception on kitchen smoke and benefits of using improved stoves among pregnant women.

DESIGN: A community-based cross-sectional mixed method study.

SETTING: In six kebeles of a low-income rural community of South Gondar Zone, Northwestern Ethiopia.

PARTICIPANTS: All 455 households with pregnant women aged 18-38 years, in their first-trimester or second-trimester gestation, exclusively use traditional biomass-fuelled or locally modified mud stoves, and the primary cook in her household were included. But completed data were obtained only from 422 households.

RESULT: From 422 completed data, more than half, 63% (95% CI 58% to 68%) had high-level health risk perception of household air pollution, and nearly three-fourths, 74% (95% CI 70% to 79%) of the respondents perceived that using improved stove had benefits for their families. Participants in the 32-38 years age group, rich in asset index, presence of under-five children, being a member of any women group and large family size were positively associated with high-level health risk perception. Whereas respondents in the 18-24 years age group, presence of under-five children, husbands of primary or higher education, high health risk perception and not happy with the current stove were positively associated with perceived benefits of using an improved stove.

CONCLUSION: The observed level of health risk perception of biomass smoke and the benefits of using improved stoves may help to adopt effective intervention measures. This study also suggests that for successful intervention, clean cooking programmes and policies must consider many local factors influencing health risk perception and benefits of using improved stoves.


PMID:37648392 | DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2023-072328


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