Operation Florian opens the Union World Conference with a fiery display of innovation and research.
Operation Florian were invited to work in partnership with the Liverpool Tropical School of Medicine (LTSM) to deliver a series of displays to highlight the risk posed by fire and consequent air pollution to delegates at the 47th Union World Lung Conference hosted at the Echo Arena, Liverpool in October.
The conference enabled Operation Florian to promote its work in refugee camps and informal settlements highlighting the risk of fires to many vulnerable people face on a daily basis. Whilst promoting the recent research undertaken by Dr Kevin Mortimer of the LTSM who has just coordinated the largest trial in the world for appraising the health benefits of using a clean energy cooking stove for 10,000 children under 5 in Malawi, Africa.
Cooking practices such as open fires pose one of the greatest risk and causes of fires in refugee camps. The initial idea for the collaboration stemmed out of a conversation between Steve Jordan and Dr Kevin Mortimer about how the research and the use of the cooking stove, such as the African Clean Energy cookstove (ACE-1) could have a positive impact on the reduction of fires.
Steve contacted Dr Mortimer after watching a BBC North West news article about the Cooking and Pneumonia Study (CAPS). The study saw households in 150 randomly assigned villages replace their open-fire cooking with efficient biomass fan-assisted cookstoves. Smoke from burning biomass in open fires is a major avoidable risk in developing pneumonia and is well known to cause other health problems including chronic lung disease, lung cancer, heart disease, stillbirth and low birth weight; it is also thought to be an important driver of global climate change.
A really surprising unexpected outcome of the results of the ongoing study show that these safer cook stoves reduce the risk of burns in children under the age of five by over 40% compared to traditional open fire cooking. Fires and the resultant injuries are a tremendous health issue and one in which Operation Florian through its work is committed to reducing.
This provided a great opportunity to bring members together from Manchester, Lancs, Northamptonshire, Gloucestershire, West Sussex and Kent for such a special event and none of the success would have occurred without everyone’s efforts.
A final thank you needs to be made to Craig Kelsall and Dave Berry who both put tremendous effort into making this a success.
For other reports on the dis