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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/2558

Title: Vulnerability to air pollution: To intervene or not to intervene
Authors: John, J
Matooane, M
Oosthuizen, R
Wright, C
Keywords: Air pollution
Environmental health
Issue Date: Nov-2008
Citation: John, J, Matooane, M, Oosthuizen, R and Wright, C. 2008. Vulnerability to air pollution: To intervene or not to intervene. Science real and relevant: 2nd CSIR Biennial Conference, CSIR International Convention Centre Pretoria, 17&18 November 2008, pp 6
Abstract: The Environmental Health Research Group has, amongst other interests, a specific focus on understanding and addressing vulnerability of communities to environmental pollution. No appropriate tools to determine vulnerability to environmental pollution (and specifically air pollution) for the South African context currently exist. This project aimed to develop an integrated risk and vulnerability assessment tool to evaluate the vulnerability of South African communities to environmental pollution, specifically air pollution, exposure. A vulnerability framework, addressing issues of susceptibility, exposure and coping, was applied. A survey consisting of 377 household questionnaires was conducted in eMbalenhle, a low-income peri-urban settlement, and the collected data analyzed. The questionnaire focused on pre-determined 'vulnerability factors', including residence/household, hygiene, sanitation, nutrition and health outcomes. The goal of this survey was to identify possible associations between vulnerability factors and two broad environmental health outcomes, i.e. respiratory (for air pollution exposure) and waterborne diseases. Three statistical techniques were applied to establish whether it was possible to derive a more concise questionnaire. A subsequent goal of the project entailed intervention development: a complex process requiring a multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary approach. Appropriate interventions to assist in improving quality of life or mitigating environmental consequences (potentially appropriate opportunities where cost-effective interventions could make a significant difference to the lives of the community and others living under similar conditions) were identified. Dynamics included participation and acceptance of proposed interventions by communities, inclusion and strengthening of existing technologies and involvement of all relevant institutions and stakeholders. A vulnerability interventions approach is being developed which aims to integrate these issues in a case study community incorporating model inputs, technology methods, communication outputs and outcome evaluation. Initial actions include the formation of a ‘healthy municipality’ steering committee essential for representing all community needs. Final results will assist decision-makers in screening and prioritising vulnerability issues to ensure improved quality of life
Description: Science real and relevant: 2nd CSIR Biennial Conference, CSIR International Convention Centre Pretoria, 17&18 November 2008
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/2558
Appears in Collections:CSIR Conference 2008

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