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Background: Biomass fuels are used by half of the world’s population, and are often the only source of domestic energy. Markers of lower socioeconomic status were related to greater use of dirty-burning fuels. This study aimed to measure the prevalence and determinants of biomass fuel use in the Zambian population.

Methodology: This cross-sectional study used secondary data from the Zambia Demographic Health Survey 2018. Descriptive statistics of individual characteristics, testing for associations using Pearson’s chi-square test, and univariate and multivariate binomial regressions were performed using Stata 13.

Results: The prevalence of biomass fuel use was 91.7% (11,762), with the most notable usage observed among females (68.2%) residing in rural areas compared to males (63.4%). Factors indicating lower socioeconomic status, such as living in rural areas with a crude prevalence ratio of 1.13 (1.12-1.14) and cooking outdoors at 1.10 (1.09-1.10), were linked to the use of biomass fuels, while higher education served as a protective factor at 0.84 (0.83-0.85).

Conclusion: This study showed that rural residence, cooking from outside, and educational attainment could be important determinants of the use of biomass fuels. Education appears to be an effective preventive factor in reducing the likelihood of biomass fuel use.


Biomass fuels education prevalence determinants Zambia demographic health survey

Article Details

Author Biographies

Flavia Muyinza Nalule, University of Zambia

Flavia Muyinza Nalule is a medical doctor working at the Lusaka IVF and Fertility Clinic. She obtained her Master of Science in Epidemiology from the University of Zambia. Her research interests include non-communicable diseases, women’s health, and infertility.

Adam Silumbwe, University of Zambia

Adam Silumbwe is a PhD candidate at the University of Umea, Sweden. He also works in the Department of Policy, School of Public Health, University of Zambia. His research interests include policy and Non-Communicable Diseases.

Choolwe N. Jacobs, Women in Global Health, Lusaka, Zambia

Choolwe N. Jacobs is a Postdoctoral Fellow in International Health at Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health. She also serves as the head of the Department of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health, University of Zambia. Her research interests primarily focus on women's health.

Charles C. Michelo, Global Health Institute, Nkwazi Research University, Lusaka, Zambia

Charles C. Michelo is the founding dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Zambia. He is currently working with the Nkwazi Research Institute. His research interests include health systems strengthening, ethics, and noncommunicable diseases.

How to Cite
Nalule, F. M., Silumbwe, A., Jacobs, C., & Michelo, C. C. (2024). Biomass Fuel use Prevalent in the Zambian Population: Observations from the Zambia Demographic Health Survey 2018. Pan-African Journal of Health and Environmental Science, 3(1), 124–136.


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