An affordable solution for healthy food preparation in rural Nicaraguan homes
The Challenge: In rural Nicaraguan homes, smoke inhalation from indoor, wood-burning stoves is the leading cause of respiratory disease, as well as a major killer of children under five years old. In addition, preventable illnesses are spread by food prepared on porous wooden tables and concrete surfaces that are difficult to sanitize.
The Opportunity: Affordable kitchens that feature a smokeless stove and a tiled food preparation area can prevent sickness and disease caused by unhealthy food preparation conditions.
In rural Nicaragua, the carbon monoxide concentration in a typical kitchen is 400ppm, an amount which is considered life-threatening after only three hours of exposure.
The carbon monoxide concentration in a Clean Air Kitchen is 4ppm.
“Placement of the ONIL stove, an efficient vented stove, in a village previously using non-ventilated indoor open fires was associated with a 26% decrease in clinic visits for both acute upper- and lower-respiratory illness combined, and a 45% decrease in clinic visits for acute lower-respiratory illness. The decrease is even greater in those under 1 year of age, the most vulnerable to lower-respiratory infection in the population.”
Health effects of an efficient vented stove in the highlands of Guatemala. Harris, Steven A., et. al (2011) Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice, 6:4, 421-432