Midlands State University (MSU) Department of Surveying and Geomatics’ Research Scientist Liberty Makacha, who is also a member of Place Alert Labs (PALs); represented the University at the Commonwealth Science Conference 2022 held in Accra Ghana from the 14th to the 16th of March 2022.
Running under the theme, “Delivering a common future through collaborative engagements,” with a particular focus on the impact of climate change on health, the conference had three broad sub-themes namely, ‘Energy, Biodiversity and Equitable Access to Health’.
The Royal Society in conjunction with the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences organised the conference with funding from the British government.
Delegates from over 40 Commonwealth countries across the globe graced the event.
Mr Makacha’s session talk titled “Personal air pollution exposure assessments in advancing precision public health interventions using low-cost sensors in LMIC settings,” received overwhelming feedback.
He also co-chaired the Equitable Access to Health plenary session.
The talk presented an overview of the changing landscape in air pollution measurement science, specifically in the understanding of disease pathways through full spatial profiling of exposure.
Such spatial profiling approaches are essential in advancing and promoting environmental health which, in turn, enables targeted interventions and reduces health disparities in Low-to-Medium-Income Countries (LMICs).
Makacha’s Commonwealth presentation comes barely two months after his tour of East Africa (Kenya), West Africa (The Gambia) and Southern Africa (Mozambique) initiating an extensive air quality monitoring campaign as part of the PRECISE project (https://precisenetwork.org/).
The PRECISE Air Quality project is already piloting the use of custom-made low-cost sensors to evaluate pollution instances in African settings.
PRECISE aims at understanding placental disorders (hypertension, foetal growth restriction and stillbirth) through deep phenotyping a unique cohort of biologically and contextually characterised pregnant and non-pregnant women of reproductive age in Sub-Saharan Africa, cross-linking these outcomes to environmental stresses including air pollution.
Makacha is a joint PhD candidate registered with King’s College London (KCL) and Imperial College London (ICL). Both institutions are collaborating partners on the PRECISE project.
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