Title page for ETD etd-02172012-162359

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Albers, Patricia Nicole
Email pnalbers@gmail.com
URN etd-02172012-162359
Document Title Baseline assessment of child respiratory health in the Highveld Priority Area
Degree MSc
Department School of Health Systems and Public Health
Advisor Name Title
Dr C Wright Co-Supervisor
Prof K Voyi Supervisor
  • child respiratory health
  • air pollution
  • Highveld Priority Area
Date 2012-04-13
Availability unrestricted
Children are a highly susceptible population to the effects of air pollution. To establish a current baseline of child respiratory health and associated risk factors in the Highveld Priority Area, a quantitative questionnaire was carried out among parents or guardians of children aged between 9 and 11 years in Witbank and Middelburg. Key health outcomes of interest were asthma and upper and lower respiratory tract complications. Air quality data were obtained for Witbank and Middelburg and compared with recently gazetted National Standards to establish potential risks. The prevalence of health outcomes and associated risk factors, such as indoor fossil fuel burning and parental smoking were considered and key risk factors identified. A unique method for the analysis of poor quality responses was introduced in order to derive the most meaning from the data. The study findings showed the air quality to be of concern particularly in Witbank; however, it also showed a similarity between the air quality in both towns. The health outcome with the highest prevalence was hay fever (occurring in the previous 6 months) with 31.7%. The use of non-electric heating sources, parental smoking and mould in the house were risk factors of most concern for respiratory health. During bivariate analysis mould was found to be associated with a number of health outcomes, most notably having bronchitis, with a crude OR of 4.74. An adjusted odds ratio of 4.05 was found for smoking in the house and having bronchitis. An adjusted OR of 6.32 was found for using gas or paraffin and having episodes of wheezing. These results may be used to direct future research studies as well as assist air quality management practices in the area. Finally, a technique to handle contradictions in questionnaire responses was developed to maximise use of data collected for application in under-resourced research environments.

Copyright 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Albers, PN 2011, Baseline assessment of child respiratory health in the Highveld Priority Area, MSc dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-02172012-162359 / >


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