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Cleaner Cookstoves: Building Global Capacity & Improving Public Health

Exposure to smoke from cooking fires and traditional stoves results in nearly 2 million premature deaths each year, predominantly among women and children. The adoption of cleaner stoves and fuels will not only save lives but also reduce rapid erosion of natural resources. This grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focuses on improving clean cookstove design and building demand for this new technology. The program supports field work in Kenya, Guatemala and India, and contributes to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves in Washington, D.C.. The award is administered through PHI's Center for Public Health and Climate Change, which is working to address the health impacts of climate change.

Program Director(s)

Mary Pittman


Assessment of Noncommunicable Disease Surveillance Capacity in Low and Middle Income Countries

This project will finalize the design of a noncommunicable disease surveillance assessment tool that PHI pre-tested in Thailand.  After revamping the tool, PHI will use it to evaluate NCD surveillance in a second low and middle income country.  Following testing, PHI will analyze the findings and prepare a report on the Country’s NCD surveillance system strengths and areas where support is needed.

Cleaner Cook Stoves Project

This project seeks practical and sustainable cooking solutions that can deliver large reductions in household air pollution (HAP) in regions where biomass continues to be an important cooking fuel. Because HAP reductions of 80 to 90% are required for health gains to be achieved, the project continues to focus on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), increasing household adoption and reaching sustained and exclusive use of this clean fuel through demonstration projects in Guatemala and India.

Evaluation of Acceptability and Sustainability of Improved Stoves and their Impact on Indoor Air Quality and Child Health in Rural Western Kenya

PHI will provide support to the World Health Organization to: 1) establish research partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Columbia University, Liverpool University and Kenyan partners; 2) identify candidate clean stoves/fuels and carry out initial testing of emissions, fuel use and safety; and (3) identify study communities, install stoves, and monitor use and acceptability over first year.

Global Standardized Hypertension Treatment Project

This project will build on the hypertension treatment framework recently developed by CDC and PAHO in collaboration with high?level regional stakeholders. This shared framework seeks to improve hypertension control worldwide and will expand regional and global stakeholder understanding, commitment and action to implement global treatment recommendations. The project will further refine the framework standardizing pharmacological treatment of hypertension and complementing current hypertension guidelines. As a basis for this approach, CDC and PAHO applied infectious disease models that have proven successful for global TB and HIV management. The project treats essential medications, treatment protocols with targets, and patient cohort monitoring as fundamental elements of a structured treatment approach. Implementation will take place in Latin America and the Caribbean, regions where disease prevalence and limited treatment reflect the situation of hypertension worldwide.

Hypertension Lancet Commission

This project will provide ongoing support to help scale up the Global Standardized Hypertension Treatment Project (GSHTP) developed by CDC in collaboration with PAHO and other high-level regional stakeholders.  The project will improve the availability and accessibility of standardized hypertension tools through the development of a broad toolkit and technical package.  The project will continue to enhance stakeholder engagement through effective Alliance coordination, conduct of an international conference, and promotion of standardized treatment and medication procurement through two thematic webinars.

Here's How We're Making a Difference

Bringing Together Public Health, Government and Industry Stakeholders to Drive Market Change for Cleaner Cookstoves

Many social and environmental benefits can be achieved through household adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels, but research suggests that health benefits can only be achieved with near-exclusive use of low-emission stoves or through use of clean fuels.

In June of 2016, the Guatemalan Ministry of Energy and Mines and PHI convened a workshop with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Industry stakeholders to help develop an action plan to strengthen the market and increase demand for LPG among Guatemalan households. Experts presented consumer studies about LPG that raised questions about cylinder safety, unsavory industry practices and LPG prices. The workshop facilitated discussion on strategies to address these weaknesses and increase LPG utilization, and marked the first time in 15 years that Industry and government representatives met and worked together—a milestone in sector collaboration.

Scaling Up Demand for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Guatemala

In Guatemala, about 70% of urban households use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for cooking. Yet over half of these users continue to cook with firewoodand households will only enjoy the health benefits of LPG when it is the primary fuel for cooking.  

A study from PHI's Cleaner Cookstoves: Building Global Capacity & Improving Public Health and Eneris Consulting set out to understand the that key barriers to a complete transition to LPG for urban and peri-urban households. Their findings include: concerns about safety and the poor quality of LPG cylinders; the reputation of LPG suppliers and distributors; lack of knowledge of how to cook with LPG or how to use a pressure cooker; and lack of easy cost comparisons between LPG and firewood. 

The report also found that LPG is currently used in households with a wide range of incomes, and most users are not deterred by taste of food cooked with LPG, technical access to LPG refills, or the initial cost of LPG cylinders and stoves are not barriers to increased LPG use.

These findings will be used to facilitate LPG scale-up among Guatemalan households with easy access to LPG. See the full study.