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Kendra Williams, PhD

Years: 2017-2018, 2019-2020

Training Site: Asociacion Benefica PRISMA

Country: Peru

Mentors: William Checkley, MD, PhD; Marilu Chiang, MD, MPH

Title: “Investigating Sustained Adoption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Puno, Peru”

Program Objectives:

Aim 1: Explore the impact of home delivery vs. a voucher-based system on LPG adoption.

Significance: Estimates suggest that to reduce household air pollution (HAP) significantly enough to achieve health benefits, clean fuels such as LPG must be used for the majority of cooking (with less than 1 hour of biomass stove use per week). Research that I conducted as part of my pre-doctoral Fogarty fellowship found that when LPG was provided for free and delivered directly to households, participants used the LPG stove for over 98% of their cooking tasks. This suggests that when economic barriers to LPG adoption are removed, near exclusive adoption of LPG is possible. However, it remains to be known whether household delivery of LPG played an important role in the exclusive adoption achieved, or if removing costs alone is sufficient regardless of the delivery mechanism.

Aim 2: Investigate factors influencing sustained use of LPG among participants who received one year of free LPG and now receive smaller subsidies from a governmental program or no support.

Significance: Realizing the full benefits of LPG requires that families not only obtain an LPG stove, but also continue using it over the long-term and abandon their biomass stoves. Although the CHAP trial was able to achieve near-exclusive use of LPG during year 1 when LPG was provided for free, further investigation into whether participants continue using the LPG stove when it is no longer free is needed. Understanding the factors that influence sustained use vs. abandonment of LPG is essential for informing the design of LPG promotion programs. This research will highlight barriers to sustained use that must be addressed and facilitators that can be reinforced through program strategies and messaging to promote sustained LPG use.

Aim 3: Analyze the effect of LPG on traditional cooking patterns.

Significance: One of the most widely-cited barriers to adoption of clean-burning fuels such as LPG is that traditional dishes either cannot be cooked with LPG stoves or do not taste the same when made with LPG. Many families will continue regular use of a biomass-burning stove even after obtaining LPG to prepare these traditional dishes. Identifying strategies for adapting traditional dishes in ways that are more compatible with LPG cooking are essential for exclusive LPG use to be achieved.

NIH Support: Fogarty scholar / fellow training award

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