University of Oulu

Abereton, P., Ordinioha, B., Mensah-Attipoe, J., & Toyinbo, O. (2023). A qualitative study on the morbidity experiences of under-five children in oil spill communities. Health and Environment, 4(1), 198-208.

A qualitative study on the morbidity experiences of under-five children in oil spill communities

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Author: Abereton, Pearl1; Ordinioha, Best1; Mensah-Attipoe, Jacob1,2;
Organizations: 1Department of Environmental Health, African Centre of Excellence, Centre for Public Health and Toxicological Research (ACE-PUTOR), University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State 500004, Nigeria
2School of Health Care and Social Services, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Microkatu 1, Kuopio 70210, Finland
3Good indoor air and building health research unit, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiteran katu 1, Oulu 90570, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Syncsci Publishing, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-08-11


Introduction: Under-five years old (U5) children that reside in oil spill communities are exposed to various pollutants, and therefore are prone to respiratory symptoms and diseases. This study aimed to develop a deeper understanding on the lived experiences of U5 children residing in these communities.

Methods: The study was done in August, 2022, on eleven caregivers/parents of U5 children, aged 26–45 years old via purposive sampling. This study utilized a phenomenological research design through in-depth interviews and audio recordings.

Results: Findings revealed that numerous oil spills have occurred, and are still occurring. According to the respondents, these spills are caused majorly by poor maintenance of old, rusted pipelines of oil companies; and pipeline vandalism, leading to land, water and air pollution. Results also showed that these spills have led to several adverse respiratory health (RH) experiences in U5, including cough, catarrh, chest pain and other health emergencies that have resulted in frequent hospital visitations and admissions like difficulty/fast breathing, pneumonia, hemoptysis, exacerbation of previously existing conditions, asthma development, etc. The destruction of their source of livelihood, have contributed to worsening these symptoms.

Conclusion: U5 children living in crude oil polluted areas are burdened with a high prevalence of respiratory symptoms and diseases. Implementation of already existing regulatory laws on oil pollution, prompt clean-up of oil spills, provision of standard health facilities, and trained health personnels, were some of the measures recommended to curb the menace of crude oil spills and its RH effects.

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Series: Health and environment
ISSN: 2661-3034
ISSN-E: 2661-3034
ISSN-L: 2661-3034
Volume: 4
Issue: 1
Pages: 198 - 208
DOI: 10.25082/HE.2023.01.002
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 212 Civil and construction engineering
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, private, or not-for-profit sectors, except for the supervision by Oluyemi Toyinbo that was supported by the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, Finland.
Copyright information: © 2023 Pearl Abereton et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.