A Pilot Study has begun in Kathmandu to assess the state of students’ lung that is exposed to Katmandu’s foul air. Students of seven government schools of the capital city will soon get to know if they have been suffering from any lung complications.
Clean Air Network Nepal in association with Clean Energy Nepal and Environment and Public Health Organization has coordinated and managed this ongoing pilot study with the help of Mr. Eric Cheng, a medical volunteer from CANADA. The basic purpose of this study is to raise awareness on health impacts of air pollution and generate primary data for future awareness and advocacy.
This comes at a time when growing air pollution level is believed to be taking a heavy toll on respiratory health of people across all age groups. However, the tests will be conducted on eighth-graders of 7 government schools in the capital. The selected schools are situated near to permanent air quality monitoring stations. This is planned to correlate the outcome of the pilot study with air quality data.
CANN is planning to continue this pilot study among pedestrians of the city and villagers who lives near to brick kiln factories in the second phase.
The testing of lung is done by handheld digital Spirometer, an instrument that lets people know about the status of their lungs. All that one has to do is blow air heavily into the mouthpiece of the gadget and wait for initial results, while a detailed analysis comes later. Anyone, who cannot blow in given volume of air into the gadget, may have weak lungs for reasons ranging from breathing in foul air to congenital complications. The person who can blow in enough air may get a clean chit.
CANN leads a team of 25 local students from 10 environmental science colleges, who have joined as volunteers for a survey of the lungs. Prior to mobilization of these volunteers, CANN organized one day TOT program for the volunteers. During TOT a detail action plan was prepared with substantial input from volunteers.
The testing methodology is very simple – student has to blow into Spirometer, which will automatically record all data we need to calculate his respiratory health condition. Besides the testing of lung, volunteers also conduct presentation and discussion session on Kathmandu’s air pollution and collect student’s perception on air pollution through questionnaire survey.