A key priority of the Eastern Africa GEOHealth Hub has been to build capacity and infrastructure to monitor outdoor air pollution in each of the Hub countries. To aid in this goal we installed a central outdoor air quality monitor, Met One Inc. beta attenuation monitor (BAM-1022), in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Kampala, Uganda; Nairobi, Kenya; and Kigali, Rwanda between 2016 and 2019. These central monitors continuously measure PM2.5 (atmospheric particulate matter with diameter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller).

PM2.5 is an air pollutant that is commonly the result of combustion from fires or automobiles, industrial processes, or suspended dust from unpaved roads or new construction. Exposure to PM2.5 has been associated with increased risk for respiratory and cardiovascular related morbidity or mortality.

The central monitors are maintained, and data are managed by Hub teams at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Makerere University, Uganda; University of Nairobi, Kenya; and University of Rwanda, Rwanda, respectively.

To better understand how air pollution varies across the city, additional PM2.5 monitors were established in a phased approach, using Met One Inc. E-Samplers, on a temporary basis (designed to last for one full year) across 10 sub-cities located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Kampala, Uganda; and Nairobi, Kenya as part of cross-sectional studies (one time sampling) on respiratory health of school children designed to be conducted in each capital city, known as the East African Children’s Health Study.

We are using the PM2.5 data collected from the central monitors to help inform policy makers about the extent of air pollution exposure in their cities (see publications) and as part of the Hub’s East African Children’s Health Studies and Time-Series Studies of Morbidity and Mortality.