Investigating Potential Hazards Of Domestic Fuel Sources And Associated Medico-Social Issues Among Rural Women In Punjab, Pakistan

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Nabeela Farah , Saira Siddiqui , Muhammad Uzair , Saima Afzal , Naveed Farah , Muhammad Imran Khan , Anam Afzal


Rural areas of developing countries are still facing severe energy crisis for domestic consumption. The residents are bound to use easily accessible, low-cost biomass, in the form of agricultural crop residue and animal dung, which have adverse implications on the health of rural inhabitants and those who are directly involved in domestic fuel handling and consumption. The exploitation of such resources for domestic purposes poses a direct adverse impact on women's health who are directly exposed to the hazardous gas emissions, released from utilizing raw and low-quality domestic fuel. This research work was initiated with the purpose to examine the ill-health impact on the lives of rural women due to their long-term exposure to hazardous energy resources. Furthermore, social determinants were investigated for their association with the rate of exposure to gas emissions. Data collected from 480 women from three districts of Punjab province, was analyzed by using multivariate regression models such as (mediation, moderation and interaction). Odd ratios for agricultural waste, wood and dung showed a significant correlation for various diseases. Long-term exposure to hazardous gases emitted from domestic fuel burning was strongly associated with a higher risk of chronic diseases including, chest pain, coughing, asthma, allergy and stress level. The research work leads to the development of a policy framework for the uplift of rural women's health more effectively.

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