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Your Environment. Your Health.

A health intervention or a kitchen appliance? Household costs and benefits of a cleaner burning biomass-fuelled cookstove in Malawi

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography

Details

Research article Cost benefit analysis (CBA)
Authors
Cundale K, Thomas R, Malava JK, Havens D, Mortimer K, Conteh L
Journal
Social Science & Medicine
Summary
This cost-benefit analysis evaluated the household costs and perceived benefits from using advanced stoves to replace biomass burning stoves in a large cookstove intervention trial in Malawi. The authors found that the costs of the stoves ($65 USD) was much higher than what people were willing to pay (median value of $10.3 USD). Participants reported benefits from reduced cooking times and fuel usage, but few households identified health benefits. Results suggest that sustained use of the stove may not achievable in this village and raise the question as to whether the stoves should be as a health intervention.
Population
100 households in rural Malawi (ages not specified)

Health Outcomes

  • Respiratory (respiratory symptoms)
  • morbidity (overall health)

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Air pollutants

Source of Environmental Agents:

  • Cookstoves

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source

Type:

  • Cost benefit analysis (CBA)

Cost Measured:

  • Costs of the stove, costs of providing the stove, costs of training and support of use of stove provided by the CAPS study, costs of supplemental equipment such as solar panel and pot, cost of maintenance for one year, willingness to pay for the stove

Potential Cost Measures:

  • Costs of time saved (using more precise measures than those applied in this study)

Benefits Measures:

  • Economic benefits of time saved in not collecting firewood
  • time saved in preparing meals and cooking

Potential Benefits: (Not available)

Location:

  • Chilumba located in Karonga, a northern district of Malawi

Models Used: (Not available)

Methods Used:

  • The authors calculated household costs and perceived benefits of using advanced stoves to replace three-stone stoves in rural Malawi based on results of semi-structured interviews. This qualitative study was part of the Cooking and Pneumonia Study (CAPS) randomized control study. The authors — 1) conducted semi-structured interviews of 100 CAPS households (50 intervention and 50 controls households) to inquire about costs, benefits (both health and non-health), and perceptions of the cookstove from those in the intervention arm, and to determine the perceptions of the cookstove from those in the control arm; 2) calculated economic benefits of time saved using three shadow prices estimate approaches; 3) elicited willingness to pay values by asking respondents how much they would pay for one cookstove; and 4) converted Malawian Kwacha to US dollars using the August 2015 exchange rate.

Sources Used:

  • A cleaner burning biomass-fueled cookstove intervention to prevent pneumonia in children under 5 years old in rural Malawi (the Cooking and Pneumonia Study): a cluster randomized controlled trial (Mortimer et al., 2016); results from interviews conducted in association with the CAPS study; demographic surveillance data from the Karonga Prevention Study (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2015b); three methods to shadow price time savings (Bensch and Peters, 2015; Garcia-Frapolli et al, 2010; Sicuri et al, 2012); additional sources cited in the publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source

Citation:

  • Cundale K, Thomas R, Malava JK, Havens D, Mortimer K, Conteh L. 2017. A health intervention or a kitchen appliance? Household costs and benefits of a cleaner burning biomass-fuelled cookstove in Malawi. Social Science & Medicine.
  • Pubmed
  • DOI

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding:

  • Funding from multiple sources in the UK and U.S. including funds from the Wellcome Trust, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute of Mental Health
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