213983 Honduras – Clean and low-consumption stoves protects the environment and the health of children and families

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dax Martínez , Environmental Health Program, Plan International, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Luis Tam, MD DrPH , Plan USA, Arlington, VA
BACKGROUND. Food cooking in rural homes of Honduras involves a high consumption of firewood due to the use of traditional stoves; also this brings high concentrations of smoke into the house, dirty kitchens and the first cause of respiratory illness in family members. The search for firewood is done over long distances off the community, mainly because the forest is disappearing for the increasingly exhaustion. Schools dropout are directly related to this activity because children are mainly responsible for searching and bringing the wood. THE PROJECT. Since 2008, Plan International, a child-centered humanitarian organization, has helped build improved stoves in 4000 households in 6 districts of the country. These stoves consume less wood and produce less smoke than the traditional stoves in rural homes. Their construction was accompanied with practical training on its operation and maintenance and on health, hygiene and cleanliness of the dwellings. RESULTS. Based on reports from local health facilities and community volunteers, these populations have experienced a noticeable fall in the rates of acute respiratory diseases among children and their mothers, who are the most exposed to the stoves' smoke. Moreover, noticeable positive changes are observed in personal hygiene, cleanliness of the houses and cooking practices. CONCLUSIONS. With the improved stoves, rural families in Honduras enjoy better health and cleanliness, and also have more time to devote to productive activities, plus a reduction in forest degradation.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the opportunities and challenges of implementing an improved stoves intervention that will protect the environment and improve the health of children and families.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I directed the project described in this abstract
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.