Webinar Series on Air Pollution and Health in East Africa

September 19, 2023 to January 31, 2024

September 2023 to January 2024


Countries in East Africa experience high levels of air pollution as well as significant health impacts from both outdoor and household air pollution. There is a strong demand for data and evidence on air pollution levels and impacts on health and well-being; several efforts are underway to expand air quality monitoring and bolster local capacity to generate data and evidence.
Starting in September 2023, HEI is launching a series of four webinars designed to foster engagement, collaboration, learning and peer-exchange in relation to research and policy on air quality and health. The webinars will be hosted between September 2023 and January 2024 and the discussions will focus on four crosscutting themes: 

  1. Building momentum for health studies using locally available air quality and health data to strengthen air pollution and health evidence. 

  2. Strengthening capacity to promote East Africa-led studies with emphasis on implementation-based science to address key policy-relevant questions.

  3. Expanding public engagement and communication on health effects of air pollution using tailored strategies for specific audiences.

  4. Opportunities for promoting integrated action to encourage multidisciplinary co-design and engagement

The series follows the Workshop on Air Pollution and Health in East Africa held in March 2023, which gathered 50 participants from 7 countries and focused on strengthening technical expertise on air pollution and health in East Africa.


The webinar series aims to:

  • Provide a platform to discuss major air quality and health-related questions in East Africa.
  • Catalogue available air quality and health data streams, ongoing projects and activities related to air quality and health in East Africa.
  • Explore collaborative opportunities for locally led health studies and public communication of the health effects of air pollution.

The webinars are free to attend and will be conducted in English. Slides and recordings will be made available after each webinar. Webinar participants are expected to include researchers, healthcare practitioners, professional societies, national and regional non-profit groups, bi- and multi-lateral organizations, and national and local government agencies.

The webinar series is supported by the Clean Air Fund.


Time Zone Note

All webinar times are displayed in Eastern Africa Time (EAT).


Webinar 4: Opportunities for promoting integrated action on air pollution, energy, and climate in East Africa

Jan. 31, 2024 - 3:00pm

The complex interactions between climate change and air quality mean that coordinated action can lead to better public health and improved societal outcomes. While the health impacts of climate change are varied, impacts from exposure to air pollution are well known. Over the years, technological advancements and innovations have offered an opportunity for East Africa-based practitioners to align their research with regional and national development priorities, which in turn provides a foundational accountability framework that is resilient over time.

This webinar explored the multiple benefits of pollution prevention in the context of competing priorities such as economic growth, infrastructure development, and food security across the region. Speakers discussed ideas for integrating air pollution and climate action and showcased best practices for pollution prevention and mitigation in high-impact sectors such as energy. The session also highlighted the links to public health and showcased synergistic action across key sectors that contribute to air pollution and climate change. This was the fourth and final webinar in the East Africa Webinar Series organized by the Health Effects Institute.

Webinar materials including speaker slides and the recording will be available soon.

Chair: Andriannah Mbandi, UNFCC High-Level Champions


Watch the Recording

3:00 PM Welcome

Victor Nthusi, Health Effects Institute 

3:05 PM Opening remarks: Integrated air pollution and climate action: The African Perspective  

Andriannah Mbandi, UNFCC High-Level Champions  

3:20 PM Energy Access and Green Growth: Investing in Innovative Local Enterprises across Africa

Ada Marmion, Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund

3:40 PM Household Energy Transition in Kenya: The Case for Air Quality and Health Gains

 Sophie Odupoy, KOKO Networks

4:00 PM Climate Change and Extreme Heat: The Health Case for improving Maternal and Neonatal Health

Adelaide Lusambili, Africa International University

4:20 PM Discussion (30 mins)

4:50 PM Closing remarks

4:55 PM Thank you (HEI)

5:00 PM Webinar Ends

Webinar 1: Building momentum for health studies using locally available air quality and health data

Sep. 19, 2023 - 3:00pm

Existing data gaps in East Africa has led to creative data integration and development of fit-for-purpose tools, especially on air quality monitoring. For instance, countries and cities in the region are rapidly adopting low-cost sensors for measurement of air pollutants in an effort to enable and expand access to data on air quality. However, the datasets are not always accessible to the public and usable for research and/or policy applications owing to the lack of harmonized quality assurance and quality control procedures. Administrative healthcare data systems are often manual and incomplete in the region providing an opportunity for demographic surveillance to offset this limitation.

This webinar provided an overview of the currently available air quality and health datasets and assessed the needs and potential applications that can help strengthen air pollution-health evidence.

Co-Chair(s): Godwin Opinde, Kenyatta University


Watch the Recording

3:05 PM Opening remarks

• The role of data and evidence in air quality management

George Mwaniki, World Resources Institute Africa

3:15 PM Setting the context: Availability of local air quality and health data

• Leveraging shared knowledge – Regional and national air quality monitoring data streams
Anderson Kehbila, Stockholm Environment Institute Africa

• Demographic surveillance as a tool to promote urban health and socio-economic wellbeing
Kanyiva Muindi, African Population & Health Research Center 

3:45 PM Q&A

4:00 PM Usability of available air quality and health data to build regional evidence base

• Talk 1 – Quality assurance of air quality data, are available datasets homogenous?
Priscilla Adong, AirQo

• Talk 2 – Showcase of ongoing or completed AQ and health research, opportunities & challenges
Augustine Afullo, Eastern Africa GEOHealth Hub (Kenya) 

4:30 PM Open Discussion

4:55 PM Closing remarks

5:00 PM Webinar Ends

Webinar 2: Strengthening capacity to promote East Africa-led research programs on air quality and health

Oct. 25, 2023 - 3:00pm


Capacity building is often considered as a cornerstone of development attracting considerable financial resources in government budgets across East Africa. Improvements in air quality can be realized if capacity strengthening programs are formulated and effectively implemented programs in response to local needs and are informed by available human and institutional capital. 

Local evidence on health effects of air pollution in East Africa remains limited. The available evidence is largely focused on health effects of short-term exposure to air pollution. This webinar will highlight opportunities for strengthening and expanding technical skills and institutional resources to conduct and lead studies on health effects of air pollution across the region. The session will also showcase ongoing projects and programs that deploy a multidisciplinary approach towards long-term skill building. This is the second webinar in the East Africa Webinar Series organized by the Health Effects Institute and is co-hosted with the Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS) and the Respiratory Society of Kenya (ReSoK).

Co-Chair(s): Lynn Atuyambe, Makerere University and Cathryn Tonne, ISGlobal


Watch the Recording

3:05 PM Opening Remarks

• Capacity needs for converting research into practice
Lynn Atuyambe, Makerere University

Cathryn Tonne, ISGlobal

3:20 PM Perspectives on East Africa-led research programs

• Presentation 1: Capacity strengthening on air pollution and health.
James Mwitari, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)

• Presentation 2: PATS MECOR: Promoting education, training, and research on lung health across Africa.
Bertrand Mbatchou, Pan African Thoracic Society

3:50 PM Discussion and questions

4:20 PM Closing remarks

4:30 PM Webinar Ends

Webinar 3: Expanding public engagement and communication on air pollution and health

Nov. 29, 2023 - 3:00pm

While air pollution is a major public health threat across Africa, public awareness on health effects of air pollution remains limited. Effective communication on the topic to key stakeholders can help to build support for policy measures that result in air quality improvements over time. Engaging communities, especially those most vulnerable to air pollution, on topics related to the health and other societal effects of air pollution, can also foster greater acceptance and uptake of air quality interventions. 

This webinar will examine approaches to enhance uptake of information related to air pollution and health from a variety of perspectives. Speakers will discuss ideas for mobilizing support for interventions on air pollution and showcase best practices for communicating information on air pollution and health with various audiences. This is the third webinar in the East Africa Webinar Series organized by the Health Effects Institute and is co-hosted with C40 Cities.

Watch the Recording

3:10 PM

• Considerations for communicating data on air pollution’s health and societal impacts: The African Perspective
Victor Indasi, C40

3:20 PM

• Communicating about the health effects of air pollution to the public: The public health perspective 
Sammy Simiyu, Vital Strategies 

3:40 PM

• Case Study: Successes and challenges in communicating air pollution and health information at the city scale 
Omoseyindemi Omowunmi and Temitayo Ajilore, City of Lagos, Nigeria 

4:00 PM

• Engaging with media on air pollution and health: what must scientists know? 
Jackie Lidubwi, Internews 

4:20 PM Discussion (35 mins)

4:55 PM Closing remarks

4:58 PM Thank you (HEI)

5:00 PM Webinar Ends

Online Webinar
Boston, MA 02110
United States

Special thanks to our partner Clean Air Fund

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