Title: Impact of clean cooking fuel on health (group of studies)

Funder/ Sponsor: ICMR

Objective: This study is ongoing in Junnar area, KEMHRC.VRHP has been working in the area of indoor air pollution and its effect on health since last ten years. Recently we have conducted a controlled trial, in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley, and SRU Chennai, which involves facilitating provision of LPG gas to pregnant and newly-married women who have been using biomass fuel for cooking, looks at change in use of household energy use for cooking along with reductions in household air pollution levels. VRHP has also been awarded two grants by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), to conduct research into assessment of the Pradhan Mantri UjjwalaYojna (PMUY). While one of these projects looked at impact of providing a 2nd cylinder to rural households with a PMUY LPG connection, the second study evaluated barriers and facilitators in implementing the PMUY from the perspective of LPG distributors as well as beneficiaries in a tribal area.The findings from all our work on lead us to recommend for future efforts which were reported in a policy brief for Ujjwala 2.0. (https://ccapc.org.in/policy-briefs/2019/8/4/ujjwala-2-series-roy-and-colleagues) a) Offer health messages and a loan of a second cylinder to households that currently own one cylinder, b) Provide an LPG connection and free fuel to any pregnant woman in India who still cooks on an indoor chulha, c) Publicize the health risks of a smoky indoor fire, d) Increase logistical and financial support to rural distributors in order to offset the increased costs of providing remote, rural homes with LPG refills, e) Enable paying the distributor the LPG subsidy directly, so households pay only the subsidized cylinder price, f) Build in mechanisms to enable rapid evaluations to assess the program’s impact. Our recommendations will create benefits beyond direct beneficiaries. As smoke from chulhas causes a large share of ambient air pollution, interventions that move households to near-exclusive LPG use may be among the most cost-effective means to improve the health of all Indians.

Health message video on the harms of cooking with biomass fuels



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