By; BAYO AKAMO. Ibadan
A University Don, Dr Toluwalope Ogunro has alerted that the use of firewood and kerosene for cooking is associated with negative health outcomes such as asthma, respiratory ill-health,, and tears-in-the-eyes.
The Doctor of Energy Economics at the University of Ibadan stated this while defending her doctoral thesis at the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law (CPEEL) entitled ‘Fuel Choice and Health Outcomes in Ogun State, Nigeria’ supervised by Dr Oluwatosin Ademola Adeniyi.
She pointed out that “the use of firewood for cooking is likely to cause increase in High blood pressure” hence the need for the use of modern energy for cooking and adoption of better cooking practices for positive health outcomes.
Dr Ogunro stressed that the study conducted in Ifo, Ijebu-Ode and Adodo-Odo-Ota local government areas of Ogun state revealed that the use of kerosene for cooking in urban areas of Ogun state is likely to cause fever and tear-in-the eye.
“An analysis of five models of health outcomes shows that kerosene and firewood are likely causes of tear in the eyes and respiratory ill-health; firewood is a likely cause of blood pressure and Asthma while a comparison of rural and urban health outcomes due to fuel use reveal that kerosene relative to LPG use for cooking and firewood relative to LPG use for cooking are likely causes of respiratory ill-health in rural and urban areas of the study; firewood is a likely cause of tear in the eyes in rural and urban areas though urban health outcomes for tear in the eyes and respiratory ill-health have higher magnitude of health outcomes than rural areas in Ifo, Ijebu-Ode and Ado-odo-ota local government areas of Ogun State” she said.
Dr Ogunro, who discovered access disparity between the urban and rural areas to modern energy such as cooking gas, added that ” rural dwellers utilised more firewood because it was free and easily accessible to them while suffering negative short term and long term health outcomes.”
Emphasizing that “fuel choice decision is influenced by wealth, location (rural or urban) and Education of households,” she said, “users of firewood and kerosene in Ogun state were oblivious of the long term effects of their energy decisions on their health.
Dr Ogunro then called for energy choice enlightenment by Ogun state government in particular and Nigeria in general on the negative long term effect of firewood use for cooking to discourage its use.