Expert Warns against Cooking with Firewood

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Published January 21 2020.  By Dayo Ojerinde

A public health physician, Dr Orode Doherty, has warned against using firewood for cooking, saying it has the same health outcomes as smoking.

Speaking during the Lagos State Executive and Stakeholders’ Liquefied Petroleum Gas Workshop held recently, Doherty, who is the Managing Director of Ingress Health Partners, said that cooking with firewood, charcoal or kerosene could be injurious to health.

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She said, “About 98,000 Nigerian women die every year because they use firewood to cook their meals. If a woman cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner with firewood, she will have the same health outcome as somebody who smoked between three and 20 packets of cigarettes. We can also think about additional burden such as environmental fallout, loss of soil fertility, soil erosion and population displacement.

“Using charcoal or firewood for cooking is injurious to health. It is also a waste of productive time. The largest disease that comes with air pollution is lung disease. About 50 per cent of people who have used it for up to 20 years have developed cataracts.”

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State said that his administration would ban cooking methods that pollute the environment and endanger the lives of Lagos residents.

Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, announced that his government would build a liquefied petroleum gas plant station across the five divisions in the state for accessibility and sustainability.

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He said, “The state government has over the year employed several strategies to ensure that Lagos is cleaner and safer for residents. Our priority as an administration is to substantially enhance and fast track the conversion of residents using bad fuel to Liquefied petroleum gas.”

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