Niger Delta Medial Journal

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A SURVEY OF RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS AMONG FOOD-GRILLERS EXPOSED TO CHARCOAL SMOKE IN YENAGOA, SOUTH-SOUTH, NIGERIA

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Authors
Nathan E. Onini , Johnbull Jumbo , Abisoye Oyeyemi , Peter O. Ikuabe , Gregory E. Erhabor

Department of Internal Medicine, Federal Medical Centre,
Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria

Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences,
Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences,
Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State, Nigeria

Department of Internal Medicine, Obafemi Awolowo University,
Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
Corresponding AuthorDr. Jumbo
Johnbull
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Niger Delta University,

Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State,
Nigeria
Email-johnbulljumbo@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND
The use of charcoal as biomass fuel has been an increasing source of energy. Despite the availability of other forms of energy, there is increasing resort to use of wood and its products such as charcoal because of poor accessibility and high cost of other sources of energy. Food-grilling is an age-long practice involving the application of dry heat to the surface of food. The process of food-grilling may generate significant amount of noxious emissions capable of causing respiratory symptoms. This study was aimed at obtaining a comparative survey of respiratory symptoms among charcoal smoke – exposed food grillers and controls in Yenagoa, South-South, Nigeria.

METHODS
This was a comparative observational cross-sectional survey of respiratory symptoms among charcoal
smoke – exposed food grillers in Yenagoa, South-South, Nigeria. The study was carried out on roadside
food-grillers using wood charcoal to roast different food items for sale and fruit sellers were used as controls.
Participants were assessed using the modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) questionnaire to obtain information on respiratory symptoms and socio-demographic characteristics

Results
A total of one hundred and sixty (160) participants made up of eighty (80) food-grillers and fruit-sellers
(controls) respectively were recruited for this study. Respiratory symptoms for food-grillers and controls
were cough (58, 72.5% vs 17, 21.3%), wheeze (13, 16.3% vs 7, 8.8%), breathlessness (28, 35.0% vs 8,