Indoor air pollution caused by the use of unhygienic fuels in kitchens without proper ventilation has been billed as one of the prime reasons for high prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in rural Bangladesh.
"Our rural women usually cook indoor using an open-fire traditional cooking stove at a small kitchen with biomass fuel, like wood, cow dung and charcoal, without or insufficient ventilation that expose them hugely to COPD," Dr Shamim Ahmed, an associate professor of Pulmonology Department of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), told the news agency.
Referring to a study on "Indoor Biomass Fuel Smoke Exposure as a Risk factor for COPD for Women of Rural Bangladesh", he said, one in five rural women was suffering from COPD in a stage of life for neglecting health issues.
The study, published in a medical journal of "Chattagram Maa-O-Shishu Hospital Medical Collage" last year, was carried out among 250 women over 40 years of age through random sampling.
"Though smoking is the most common cause of COPD all over the world, air pollution is playing a similar role in Bangladesh causing COPD," Dr Ahmed said.
The physician suggested using kerosene stoves for cooking at a properly ventilated kitchen to avoid suffering from COPD.
"Side by side, we should avoid use of tobacco, exposure to occupational dusts and chemicals and frequent lower respiratory infections during childhood to be freed from the disease," he said.