Workshop on air pollution and health in East Africa

March 29, 2023 to March 31, 2023



Countries in East Africa experience high levels of air pollution as well as significant health impacts from both outdoor and household air pollution. As such, targeted interventions could play an important role in improving air quality and alleviating the associated public health impacts. As public and governmental interest in the topic is growing, there is also a greater demand for data and evidence on air pollution levels and trends as well as health effects.

This workshop brought together a broad range of organizations and stakeholders interested in air pollution and health across East Africa, especially in Kenya and Uganda. This included researchers, healthcare practitioners, professional societies, national and regional non-profit groups, bi- and multi-lateral organizations, federal and local government agencies, ministries, and research institutes.


This workshop:

  • Reviewed the status of current data and evidence on air quality and associated health effects in the region and its interlinkage to current policy debate and actions.

  • Discussed concrete strategies for collaboration and strengthening technical expertise on air pollution and health in East Africa.

Deliberations at the workshop will feed into HEI’s work and engagement in East Africa and contribute to focusing air quality policies and actions on those most beneficial to public health in the region. 


The workshop was organized by the Health Effects Institute in partnership with the Stockholm Environment Institute – Africa Centre (SEI Africa), World Resources Institute (WRI Africa), Eastern Africa GEO Health Hub (Kenya), and AirQo with financial support from the Clean Air Fund.

Meeting Platform

The workshop was held at the Sarova Panafric Hotel. The workshop was hybrid with opportunities to attend the meeting in-person or virtually. The workshop was conducted in English.

On the third day, (March 31st) there was a half-day training session on health impact assessment for air pollution.

For questions, please contact Victor Nthusi at:


Watch the Event Recordings



Mar. 29, 2023 - 8:30am


Mar. 29, 2023 - 9:00am

Victor Nthusi, Health Effects Institute

Opening Remarks

Mar. 29, 2023 - 9:10am

Maurice Kavai, Nairobi City County Government

Philip Osano, Stockholm Environment Institute Africa, Kenya 

Health Effects of Air Pollution: Context, Evidence and Policy Applications

Mar. 29, 2023 - 9:40am

Chair: Nicholas Otienoh Oguge, University of Nairobi, Kenya

Air pollution and health in Africa
Caradee Wright, South Africa Medical Research Council, South Africa  

Role of impartial science in effective air quality policymaking
Robert O’Keefe, Health Effects Institute, USA

Session I: Air Quality in East Africa

Mar. 29, 2023 - 11:15am

Chairs: Michael Gatari, University of Nairobi (retired) and Eloise Marais, University College London

Primer: Air quality and health in East Africa – a SoGA perspective
Victor Nthusi, Health Effects Institute

Current air quality landscape in East Africa
George Mwaniki, World Resources Institute Africa

Using low-cost sensors for measuring air quality: the experience from AirQo
Deo Okure, AirQo, Uganda  

Opportunities for using integrated methods for air quality assessment in Africa
Rebecca Garland, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Mar. 29, 2023 - 12:45pm

Session II: Group Discussion

Mar. 29, 2023 - 2:00pm

Chairs:  Jon Samet, Colorado School of Public Health, USA and Kanyiva Muindi, African Population and Health Research Cente, Kenya

What are the most important health-related questions that come up in various conversations?

Small-Group Discussion

Mar. 29, 2023 - 2:30pm

Regroup, Presentations and Discussion

Mar. 29, 2023 - 4:15pm

Summary of Discussion

Mar. 29, 2023 - 4:50pm

Jon Samet and Kanyiva Muindi

Networking Dinner

Mar. 29, 2023 - 6:00pm


Mar. 30, 2023 - 8:30am

Welcome/Recap of Day 1

Mar. 30, 2023 - 9:00am

Keynote Address

Mar. 30, 2023 - 9:05am

Nexus between air pollution, energy and development

Alice Kaudia, Climate and Clean Air Coalition Senior Africa Advisor

Session III: Setting National Air Quality Policies

Mar. 30, 2023 - 9:30am

Chairs: Aderiana Mbandi, UN Climate Change High-Level Champions and Gerphas Opondo, Environment CompIiance Institute, Kenya

Air Quality Policymaking in East Africa
Sellelah Okoth, National Environment Management Authority, Kenya
Waiswa Ayazika, National Environment Management Authority, Uganda


The science-policy interface: case studies from around the world

Applications of satellite data for air quality action and research in India
Kalpana Balakrishnan, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, India   

Panel Discussion: Application of Health Evidence in Policymaking

Mar. 30, 2023 - 11:30am

Moderator: Pallavi Pant, Health Effects Institute
Kiros Berhane, Columbia University, USA
Alex Ndyabakira, Kampala Capital City Authority, Uganda  
Anne Kendagor, Ministry of Health, Kenya
Jane Akumu, UN Environment Programme
Gabriel Okello, Africa Centre for Clean Air


Mar. 30, 2023 - 12:30pm

Session IV: From Evidence to Policy – The Roadmap/Blueprint for East Africa

Mar. 30, 2023 - 1:00pm

Chairs: Pallavi Pant and Victor Nthusi, Health Effects Institute, USA

Collaborative research and capacity strengthening on air pollution and health: The Eastern Africa GEOHealth Hub Experience
Belay Simane, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Addressing energy and household air pollution for better public health: The CLEAN-Air(Africa) Project
James Mwitari, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kenya

Open Discussion

Reflections & Next Steps

Mar. 30, 2023 - 4:15pm

Vote of Thanks

Mar. 30, 2023 - 4:45pm

Meeting Adjourns

Mar. 30, 2023 - 5:00pm

Day 3

About the Training

Quantifying the public health impacts of exposure to air pollution is a critical input for policy decisions related to air quality. This session will provide an opportunity for researchers, professionals, and/or policymakers to get an overview of the principles of health impact assessments including how to conduct such studies and interpret results. The training is designed to introduce key concepts related to the types of data required for an assessment, burden of disease, etc. Using case studies from East African cities, the training will also demonstrate how an assessment might be conducted and used for policy analysis.

Training Goals
  • Introduce key concepts related to health impact assessment of air pollution 
  • Equip the participants with skills necessary to efficiently make use of available air quality data for conducting health impact assessments
    • Note that we will not have the opportunity at this training for participants to conduct their own analyses.
  • Gather feedback for future training needs in the region
Sarova Panafric Hotel
Along Valley Road

HEI Code of Conduct

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