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Environ Pollut. 2017 Jan;220(Pt A):738-743. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.09.042. Epub 2016 Sep 16.

Urban air pollution in Sub-Saharan Africa: Time for action.

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Public Health Research Group, Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana. Electronic address:
Department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana.


Air quality in cities of Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries has deteriorated with the situation driven by rapid population growth and its attendant increased vehicle ownership, increased use of solid fuels for cooking and heating, and poor waste management practices. Industrial expansion in these cities is also a major contributor to the worsening air pollution. Exposure to ambient air pollution is a major threat to human health in SSA with 176,000 deaths and 626,000 DALYs in the region attributable to ambient air pollution exposure. These estimates are however likely to be much higher than reported due to the limited data emanating from the region. Recently, the adoption of the World Health Assembly resolution on air pollution and health, and Sustainable Development Goals are a welcome boost for urban air pollution control efforts in SSA. In this article, we have outlined within the broad framework of these international policy instruments, measures for addressing urban air pollution and its associated health impacts in SSA sustainably.


Health impacts; Sub-Saharan Africa; Sustainable development goals; Urban air pollution

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