Advancing Environmental Health Research in Eastern Africa

CGC | Nairobi hosts the GEOHealth Training Workshop on Air Pollution Exposure Monitoring and Respiratory Health.

April 11, 2024

Columbia Global Centers | Nairobi recently hosted the Eastern Africa GEOHealth Hub workshop, showcasing its commitment to advancing the region's environmental and occupational health research and training. As a dedicated research and training center, the GEOHealth Hub addresses critical health challenges unique to Eastern Africa, fostering collaboration, innovation, and knowledge exchange among experts and stakeholders.

The workshop was led by esteemed experts, Dr. Kiros Berhane, a principal investigator in the Hub and the Cynthia and Robert Citron-Roslyn and Leslie Goldstein Professor and chairman of the Department of Biostatistics at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Healthand Dr. Jonathan Samet, a principal investigator of the Hub from Colorado School of Public Health.

Experts from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo engaged in the lessons they continue to learn on the Hub's ongoing research components on:

  • Indoor and outdoor air quality and health
  • Occupational health, with emphasis on agriculture
  • Climate change and health

Health problems arising from environmental and occupational hazards and climate change are rapidly escalating in the Eastern African region. The increasing pollution due to population growth, rapid urbanization, and industrialization is a pressing concern, making this research crucial. The Eastern Africa GEOHealth Hub headquarters are located at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and Columbia University, respectively, for the research and training components.

A consortium of U.S.-based experts from Columbia University, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Southern California, University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District supports training initiatives. Research initiatives are ongoing across eastern Africa and are led by researchers at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Makerere University, Uganda; University of Nairobi, Kenya; and University of Rwanda, Rwanda.