Exposure to air pollutants due to combustion of kerosene intensified by inadequate electricity supply

Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, June 2022, Volume 5, #131

[Cite as: Fadeyi MO (2022). Exposure to air pollutants due to combustion of kerosene intensified by inadequate electricity supply. Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, June 2022, Volume 5, #131.]


There was a high prevalence of respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases in a country where inadequate electricity supply was the norm. The awareness of the high prevalence of the diseases led a boy from a poor village on a journey of developing knowledge and skills he believed were needed to contribute to the effort required to keep the prevalence of the diseases low. The boy’s journey in making himself ready to contribute to his country, the lessons he learnt about indoor air quality, and his contributions to healthy living are addressed in this short fiction story.

Jafar Dongoyaro was a very brilliant and the best student in his high school. He was known nationwide as an exceptionally brilliant student with a bright future. He came to the limelight at the national level when his school won the national interschool STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) competition broadcasted nationwide. The first time Jafar joined the competition was in Year 4 of his six-year secondary school education.

To put things in context, 97% of participants in the competition were typically in the final year (Year 6) and about 3% in Year 5. There had never been a Year 4 student participant in the competition because the competition was usually held at the beginning of the academic year. Thus, Year 4 students would have just graduated from the junior secondary school (Year 1 to 3) and just started taking Year 4 level subjects.

Thus, a typical Year 4 student would know very little about Year 4 subjects at the time of the competition, not to talk of Year 5 and 6 subjects. It would even take a very brilliant Year 6 student to accurately answer Year 6-related questions in the competition. Despite being the youngest and the person at the lowest secondary level in the competition, Jafar won the most valuable participant (MVP) award. Jafar had the highest score of accurate answers at every level of the competition.

The STEM competition was organised in a way that the winning school from a local government area (LGA) would represent the LGA at the state level. The two finalists at the state level would represent their schools and the state at the regional level of the competitions. There were six regions in the country. The two finalists from each region will go on to participate in the STEM competition at the national level.

Jafar went on to lead his school to win the competition for additional two years when he was in the Year 5 and 6. Jafar won the MVP award again in each of the competitions. He was the first person in the competition’s history to win the MVP award three times and for three consecutive years. Jafar was a person that reads a lot, and once he read something, he understood it, and he would never forget it. Jafar also had excellent critical thinking and reflection skills, which greatly motivated him to read.

Before Jafar participated in the competition, his school had never made it out of the LGA level. His school had never even reached the top 15 in the LGA. Jafar’s school was in an impoverished village of the LGA with dilapidated infrastructure and insufficient teachers to teach students. Many of the teachers in Jafar’s school were also not dedicated. They were involved in activities outside the school or worked on farms for extra income.

Jafar came from a poor family of five. Aside from his father and mother, who were farmers working at a farm for a farm owner in their village, he had two sisters who were twins. The sisters got married when Jafar was in his senior year of secondary school education. His sisters also worked at the same farm their parents worked to fund their university education and support the family income. The two sisters were ten years older than Jafar. His parents did not plan to have a third child as they struggled to care for the twins. His parents contemplated aborting the pregnancy with Jafar.

If not for their religious belief, they would have aborted the pregnancy, and Jafar would not have been born. Jafar’s parents were illiterate. They could neither read nor write as they did not get the opportunity to go to school. However, they were determined to send their children to school, even if it meant working long hours at the farm for several years. Having Jafar means they would need to work more at the farm to support Jafar’s education and upbringing.

On a rainy Friday night, Jafar had just finished dinner with his father and mother and decided to read a newspaper a friend from his school gave him before reading a chemistry textbook he borrowed from an ex-student of his school. Jafar borrowed many of the textbooks he read from recent secondary school graduates. Jafar’s mother and father were outside the house preparing for the next day’s work at the farm. Jafar’s parents had excused him from helping at the farm the next day after returning from school because Jafar was busy preparing for a nationwide secondary school leaving examination popularly known as SSLE.

Jafar usually helped his parents at the farm on weekends and after school on weekdays. Sometimes he would hawk farm products on the streets to help supplement his parents’ income. Jafar planned to study chemical engineering at the university for his bachelor’s degree and petrochemical engineering for his master’s degree. He hoped to work at an oil company like Shell or Chevron. He believed working at either of these companies would make it easy for him to have an income high enough to take care of himself and his family, especially his father and mother.

His plan changed suddenly one night after reading a newspaper. It was reported in the newspaper that Jafar’s country had a high prevalence of respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases. Unfortunately, many people in Jafar’s village suffered from one or more of the diseases. It was reported in the newspaper that experts noted that the poor infrastructure and inadequate numbers of doctors and other medical professionals had contributed to the prevalence of the diseases. “I hope I can be a doctor one day to contribute to reducing the reported diseases,” Jafar said to himself.

Yes! Jafar wanted to be a medical doctor. He changed his mind about being a chemical engineer or a petrochemical engineer. He believed that being a medical doctor would allow him to take care of his family and achieve a bigger goal of taking care of his country’s people, especially those in his village. “Wake up, boy! Jafar slapped his face while talking to himself. “Where do you want to get money for a medical school?” Jafar said to himself.

Jafar then put the newspaper down and continued reading the chemistry textbook in a dark room lit with a kerosene lantern. Jafar was used to reading in such a condition. They have not had electricity supply for nearly eight months, and the Chairman of the local government area could not be bothered. There was even no electricity supply in the local government area secretariat. Diesel generators were used to generate electricity at the secretariat. Jafar went on to complete his SSLE.

In addition to the SSLE, students also must take a nationwide university entrance examination, popularly called UEE, to gain admission to universities in the country. Jafar scored A1 in all the subjects he took for the SSLE and became the best student nationwide for that year. One could argue that Jafar could have taken the SSLE in Year 4 and excel if not that only Year 6 students were allowed to take the SSLE.

Jafar was also the best student for the UEE. Jafar scored an unprecedented 372 out of 400. Medicine programmes had the highest cut-off mark in all the universities in the country. The first-ranked university in the country Jafar applied to had the highest cut-off mark. That year, the cut mark for medicine was 283, a cut-off mark considered to be very high. The top score in the history of the UEE was 320, which happened 13 years before Jafar broke the record. Aside from the 13 years record, the top score every year usually ranged between 295 and 310. Jafar’s score was unbelievably high, putting things in context.

Although Jafar was happy with his UEE score, he believed his score would have been higher if his father had not suffered from a stroke. Jafar was not able to prepare for the UEE as he wished. He spent most of the two months leading to the UEE in the hospital looking after his father. His mother juggled between the farm and hospital. His sisters, who were living in faraway cities in the country, contributed financially and came to visit when their father was initially admitted. His father later recovered, but not entirely, and got discharged but needed to see doctors often, which put a financial burden on the family.

Jafar’s performance in the SSLE and the UEE cemented everyone’s belief that Jafar was a genius. Jafar got a monetary prize for his performance. However, the prize was just a gesture only. At most, the total prize money gained from being the best SSLE and UEE student could only be used to buy four medical university books. It was not even enough for the first-year medical school tuition fee.

Despite disapproval from his parents, Jafar decided to contribute the prize money to his father’s medical bills. He told his parents and sisters that he would defer his university admission and work for one year to save money for medical school. His parents reluctantly agreed. His two sisters decided to make the case public. The news was that a genius like Jafar could miss going to the university to study medicine because he came from a poor family.

A billionaire businessman from the country, Mr. Paul Benson, decided to fund Jafar’s education. He contacted one of Jafar’s sisters and offered to send Jafar to the United Kingdom to study medicine. Jafar and his family were excited. Mr. Benson was a popular figure in the country and was known for his philanthropy efforts. Mr. Benson said to Jafar’s family that he could not believe the government could not have a financial support scheme to help a genius like Jafar fund his education. Mr. Benson also took care of Jafar’s father’s medical bills and both parents’ wellbeing.

In about one year of staying in the UK, Jafar aced all the examinations that needed to be passed to be eligible to apply to university to study medicine. Jafar’s results were so exceptional that he was offered admission to and got a prestigious and generous scholarship from all the six medical schools he applied to in the UK.

Jafar accepted the offer from the University of Cambridge’s School of Clinical Medicine. Jafar completed his medical education within six years as the best graduating student with record performance and won all the available awards at the graduation ceremony. Jafar always performed exceptionally because he was always committed to his responsibilities or whatever he wished to accomplish.

Put that together with him being a genius, and you have a perfect storm for exceptional performance. After Jafar was awarded the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, he decided to continue his post-graduate medical education in the UK. Jafar (now officially Dr. Jafar Dongoyaro) planned to go to his home country to contribute to reducing the ever-increasing incident rate of the diseases that led him onto the journey of becoming a medical doctor.

Some years later, Jafar completed his specialist training (residency) programme in cardiology, was awarded a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and became a consultant cardiologist. As he was completing his sub-specialty training (a post-CCT fellowship) for a sub-specialisation in interventional cardiology, he chanced upon an article that linked long-term exposure to air pollutants generated from the combustion (burning) of kerosene could significantly contribute to respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases.

Jafar could not stop thinking about what he read from the article as the mentioned diseases were prevalent in his home country, and burning kerosene was a common practice. The more he thought, the more he researched more articles with all headed towards the same conclusion about the link between pollutants emissions from burning kerosene and the high prevalence of the diseases. He started to think of the burning of kerosene he endured while growing up.

Jafar thought that if he wanted to make a meaningful impact as he wished as a secondary school student, he should address the cause of the problem (high prevalent diseases). After he read several articles, it was clear that the main root cause of the highly prevalent diseases (problem) in his home country was not the lack of or inadequate medical infrastructure, resources, and personnel.

Rather, it seemed to him that the reason for the burning of kerosene, which was the lack of electricity supply, was the main cause of the problem. He believed that the lack of medical infrastructure, resources, and personnel only exacerbated the effect of lack of or inadequate electricity supply on the prevalence of the diseases. He believed that improving the electricity supply would help reduce the pressure on medical infrastructure, resources, and professionals.

Jafar thought of doing a Ph.D. because doing it would give him the discipline and focus on carrying out applied research. He decided to pursue a Ph.D. in public health engineering at the department of engineering at the University of Cambridge, UK. He believed applied research would be appropriate to probe the suspected link and help find an appropriate solution to solve a defined problem. ‘Solve’ is the operative word.

Jafar decided not to go for academic research. He learnt from the literature that academic research could be divided into research on and for the field. ‘Academic research on the field’ focused on researching existing theories in the literature to develop recommendations to improve practice in the industry or in real life. ‘Academic research for the field’ focused on research to create a new theory to expand, instead of testing, existing theories in the literature to develop recommendations to improve practice.

Jafar shared his plan and motivation with his wife, a practicing architect, one night after they finished having dinner and relaxing on their balcony. “Interesting! We often make recommendations for healthy indoor air, assuming that electricity supply is always a given like in many developed countries.” Jafar’s wife remarked. His wife was born and bred in the UK and had no experience of kerosene burning as his husband. His wife was impressed and encouraged him to pursue a Ph.D. However, she was a little concerned about the additional workload and the stress the Ph.D. would cause him. A “little” because he knew her husband to be a genius, and what would take a typical brilliant person to understand or figure out in a month would only take a few hours for her husband.

Jafar decided to work on his Ph.D. proposal during the last few months of his sub-specialty training in interventional cardiology. Before writing his Ph.D. proposal, he went to see and introduced himself to Professor Mary Cook, a full professor of public health engineering in the engineering department of the University of Cambridge. Prof. Cook had a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering and a master’s and a Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering. Prof. Cook was frank with Jafar. She told him to convince her why she should be his supervisor.

Prof. Cook had just joined Cambridge from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Thus, she did not know Jafar. Jafar’s genius was well known at Cambridge, especially in the School of Medicine and the medical profession. Jafar explained to Prof. Cook what he wanted to do for his proposed Ph.D. study and how his life experience motivated his need to do a Ph.D.

Jafar said he grew up where not having an electricity supply for months was very common, making people find their own affordable solutions to carry out their everyday activities. “Kerosene was the least affordable means for many people. Kerosene lantern was typically used to generate light at night and for cooking. The use of a diesel generator and gas for cooking was unaffordable for many people in my country.” Jafar said.

“The burning of kerosene led to emissions of primary and secondary air pollutants, as I have realised from the literature. The primary air pollutants may include SO2, NOx, CO, particulate matter (PM), formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and many volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The particle generated may be ultrafine (PM0.1), fine (PM2.5), and coarse (PM10) particle sizes.” Jafar said. Jafar said long-term exposure to the high concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), another pollutant that may be emitted from burning kerosene, may increase the risk of cancer occurrence depending on the vulnerability of the exposed person.

“The reactions between the generated NOx and VOCs aided by the heat generated from the combustion would lead to the formation of ozone, an example of secondary air pollutants. Secondary organic aerosols (SOA) formed from vapours, which may be organic, that condensed on existing particles in the indoor air are also examples of secondary air pollutants formed from kerosene burning.” Jafar explained. He said evidence in the literature linked long-term exposure to air pollutants to respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases. Short-term exposure to air pollutants can lead to sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms like cough, sneezing, eye, nose, and throat (ENT) irritations, etc.

Jafar said some ozone formed would be lost due to human dermal uptake. “The ozone deposited on human skin can oxidise organic compounds called lipids (e.g., squalene) on human skin through a process called surface chemistry to generate oxidation products, including acetone. Exposure to a relatively high concentration of acetone may cause discomfort such as headache, dizziness, and nausea and vomiting, to the exposed person depending on their vulnerability.” He shared. He said the increased sensible heat introduced into the indoor environment by burning kerosene with little or no air movement or exchange of outdoor air with indoor air would increase human sweat. “Increase in sweat create a platform for an increase in the amount of lipids on human skins,” Jafar said.

Jafar said the concentration of and exposure to the air pollutants would increase with an increase in resident time of primary and secondary (generated from indoor air chemistry) pollutants in the air. He said resident time would increase with low or no air movement and ventilation rate, which a lack of electricity supply could cause. High resident time also means more time for chemical reactions between indoor air pollutants to generate more air pollutants.

“The frequent burning of kerosene for several months will significantly increase the risk of human exposure to the high concentration of harmful air pollutants and their fraction (absorbed dose) retained in the body. When the absorbed dose increases, the risk of humans suffering from respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases will increase. If absorbed dose of human with a poor immune system continues to increase to fight their adverse effect, death may occur.” Jafar shared with concern.

Jafar said it is no surprise that the death rate due to these diseases continues to increase in my home country. “Unfortunately, we were all used to the poor perceived air quality caused by kerosene burning. We were not conscious of the unhealthy situation it was causing. These concerns motivated me to want to conduct research to explore possible ways of solving the problem in my country. I want to use my village for the research.” Jafar said. “I thought to myself that before spending about four years to do the research or convince any professors to be my supervisor, I need to have some preliminary study to provide data on the air pollutants exposure caused by kerosene burning,” Jafar said.

Jafar said he did numerical and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to estimate exposure and absorbed dose to selected pollutants. “I used data on the emission rate of selected air pollutants from the combustion of kerosene published in the literature. I estimated scenarios of no and low air movement in a residential building at different ventilation rates and no ventilation.” Jafar said. He said he did the simulation for activities such as reading and sleeping with a burning kerosene lantern. He said he did exposure and absorbed dose analysis for scenarios with no electricity supply for a few days, weeks, months, and a year.

Jafar said he also did analyses for emissions from cooking with a kerosene stove, assuming that the person cooking stays in the kitchen throughout the cooking period. “I considered the typical breathing rate, as published in the literature, of a typical young, adult, and old person in all my analyses. I also considered the indoor air chemistry phenomenon and air pollutants dynamics with associated data published in the literature in my numerical and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations.” Jafar shared. He said his preliminary findings suggest that exposure to air pollutants due to frequent burning of kerosene intensified by inadequate electricity supply for several months can be dangerously high. The preliminary findings also reiterate the importance of reducing indoor air pollutants resident time to minimise exposure.

Remind me again, you are a consultant cardiologist, right?” Prof. Cook asked in a surprising tone. “Yes, Prof!” Jafar answered with a smile. “I am very surprised with your very high mathematical skills and CFD knowledge level. I presume many engineering Ph.D. students may not be able to compete with your level of mathematical skills and CFD knowledge. You must be a genius!” Prof Cook remarked. So, how do you intend to collect data in your home country?” Prof. Cook asked.

Jafar said he understands that applied research can be sub-categorised into three stages: formative, monitoring, and summative applied research. “Firstly, I will conduct formative applied research to define the problem to be solved and identify the root cause. I will measure the indoor concentration of the air pollutants commonly generated during kerosene burning.” Jafar shared. He further said low-cost and accurate sensors would be developed and adopted for the project. He said the sensors would be so cheap to the extent that many of them could be deployed continuously at different locations in the indoor environment of the studied buildings throughout the day for six months.

“Data collected on air pollutants concentrations, exposure, and absorbed dose when kerosene lanterns and cooking stoves are used and not used will be compared. Kerosene lanterns were mostly used during the period when sunset or dark sky. Based on my understanding, my village has not had electricity for more than one year. Nevertheless, records of electricity supply will be documented in a case the blown transformer for electricity supply to my village is repaired. There was no motivation to repair the transformer because electricity supply was usually inadequate even with a working transformer.” Jafar shared.

“A special method will be devised to measure the concentration of air pollutants at the nose level and on the skins of volunteered individuals to collect data on exposure. The breathing rate of volunteered individuals will also be measured through a special data collection method that I will develop. The method chosen to collect exposure or breathing rate data will be non-invasive and will not disturb volunteered individuals from carrying out their daily activities. An effort will be made to make the data collection method comfortable and convenient for volunteered participants and researchers. Data collected when the volunteered individuals were not in their indoor environments will not be considered during the analysis.” Jafar shared.

“The sensor materials will be waterproofed. Data collected will be sent to the cloud for easy downloading and analysis. A separate study will be conducted in a controlled environment, in a laboratory, to determine the emission rate of primary air pollutants of interest. The collected data from the lab and field study will serve as primary data for numerical and CFD simulations for further analyses to improve the effectiveness of the numerical and CFD simulation tools I developed in predicting indoor air pollutants concentration, exposure, and absorbed dose. I will also use my medical expertise to devise a method to monitor human response (physiological) data sequel to respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological activities in real-time during the six months of the field study.” Jafar shared.

“The collected physiological data, data collected using sensors, data collected through interviews of volunteered individuals and survey administration, and walkthrough investigation data will be compared to make informed decisions on the extent of the problem and the role of kerosene burning. It will also be useful in determining the appropriate solution to be developed and how to deploy and test it.” Jafar said.

Jafar showed Prof. Cook sketches of the measuring instruments/sensors he planned to develop with detailed information on the materials to be used and how to develop them. He also provided Prof. Cook detailed information on how he intends to develop and implement them. Jafar said he planned to develop low-cost measuring instruments to fulfill his research ideas’ specific objectives.

Jafar also provided Prof. Cook with the procedure he would adopt to verify the accuracy, sensitivity, and reliability of his measuring instrument/sensors and the approach for adopting them. He told Prof. Cook that he needed financial support from the university to fund his ideas and recruit research manpower. He told Prof. Cook that her expertise, experience, and guidance would be needed to fine-tune his ideas and raise them to the highest scientific and industry practice level. Prof. Cook smiled in response.

Jafar continued sharing his ideas. He said he would start the second phase of the research project, known as monitoring applied research, after the first phase, formative applied research, is completed. Jafar said the monitoring applied research phase will allow him to let the knowledge of the defined problem and the main cause gathered during the first phase inform the development and implementation of a solution appropriate to solve the problem. “The monitoring phase will also include testing the developed solution’s effectiveness in solving the problem experienced in real life,” Jafar said.

“The success of the developed solution in reducing exposure would be determined based on its effectiveness (i) not serving as a source of air pollutants, (ii) in reducing the resident time of air pollutants, (iii) in reducing human exposure to air pollutants and (iv) in reducing the adverse physiological implications air pollutants absorbed into the body can cause. The developed solution should be a low-cost, portable, rugged, and easy-to-use renewable energy solution for electricity supply that will be used for light generation, air movement, and cooking to prevent people from reverting to the burning of kerosene. The solution should also provide an additional benefit of improving thermal comfort without causing acoustic and visual or light discomfort.” Jafar said.

Jafar said he would leverage the advancement in scientific knowledge and technology development in material science and technology, electrical and electronics, and power engineering. He said the developed portable (pocket-sized) and rugged photovoltaic power bank will be powered by sunlight to generate electricity and can easily be integrated with electrical appliances. He further said he decided to adopt the proposed solution because he wanted to give control of the electricity supply to his people as the government has repeatedly shown that they cannot be relied upon to supply electricity.

Jafar said he hopes the envisaged success of the developed solution in solving the defined problem will motivate the government to see that adequate electricity supply is a cheaper option for reducing the high prevalent respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases. He said he plans to use data from the study to run financial calculations to show the government that adequate electricity supply will help reduce unnecessary investments in medical infrastructure and personnel without compromising the effort to reduce the prevalence of diseases in the country.

Jafar said the lack of trust in government is the same reason people usually seek solitude with burning kerosene to carry out their daily activities. He said he would buy electrical fans, light bulbs, and cooking stoves commonly available in the market for the research and make some changes to them to accommodate the integration of the developed portable photovoltaic power bank. He said the minor adjustment required to be made to the electrical appliances would not be expensive and would be easier to do based on the methodology he will devise.

Jafar said another uniqueness he envisaged in the proposed portable photovoltaic power bank is the effectiveness of trapping a high amount of energy within a short period. He said that based on his calculations and design idea, which will leverage the latest materials and technological advancements. He said a six-hour exposure of the power bank to sunlight would store enough energy to power and run electric appliances, like electrical fans, bulbs, and cooking stoves, for 24 hours uninterrupted. The power bank will also be intelligent enough to identify the type of appliance and regulate the amount of electrical current supplied to an appliance to avoid fire outbreaks or damaging the electrical appliance.

Jafar said the power bank would also be intelligent enough to automatically turn off its electricity supply if there was electricity supply from the power grid. He said one portable power bank would be enough for one electrical appliance. He said he plans to develop a power bank that would be cheap enough to make it easier for residents to buy as many as possible power banks needed to serve their needs. Prof. Cook was initially very skeptical that Jafar would be able to develop the power bank as he suggested considering the available time for a Ph.D. study. However, after looking and reading through Jafar’s detailed plan, she was convinced he was capable and motivated to achieve his ideas, provided he got the financial and manpower support and her guidance.

During several meetings, Jafar showed Prof. Cook his designs and calculations for achieving a quality, safe, portable, and rugged photovoltaic power bank that can deliver the required value to building occupants. He also said the materials he would choose would adopt the cradle-to-cradle concept to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill.

Prof. Cook thought to herself that a little adjustment to the details provided by Jafar, her being part of the project as the senior and supervising principal investigator for the proposed project, and her excellent track record would be good enough to convince any funding agencies to grant them multi-million pounds. Prof. Cook also thought that the project’s sustainability and urban solution attribute that will provide healthy life to people in the least developed, developing, and developed countries would make the funding agency consider the project favourably.

Jafar said that most of the cost would go into traveling and recruiting research assistants. He said developing the low-cost, portable, and rugged power bank to the required level for the study would take one year. He also said the duration for testing the power bank’s effectiveness for the study would be six months. Jafar provided details on how the effectiveness of the power bank will be assessed based on the success determinants he shared earlier.

Jafar said the testing of the effectiveness of the adoption of the power bank at the monitoring applied research stage will focus on indoor air pollutants concentration, air pollutants exposure and absorbed dose, perceived air quality, SBS symptoms, and physiological (e.g., respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological) responses. He said the effect on hospital visits, hospitalisation rate, and prevalence of clinically diagnosed respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases in the community will not be examined at this stage.

Jafar shared that the next stage of the research will be summative applied research and will be done for one year. He explained that the purpose of this stage is to examine the effectiveness of the power bank adoption on hospital visits, hospitalisation rate, and the prevalence of clinically diagnosed respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases in the community. The effectiveness examined under the monitoring applied research stage will also be examined.

Jafar later said the fourth year of his Ph.D. study would be used for writing and finalising his Ph.D. thesis. Prof. Cook was very pleased with Jafar’s ideas and plan. She agreed to be his supervisor. Jafar submitted his Ph.D. proposal to the University of Cambridge, UK. He was offered a position in the Ph.D. programme. He worked out an agreement with Cambridge’s school of medicine to allow him to spend more time on his Ph.D. study without resigning from his job as a medical doctor.

Jafar was granted a prestigious and generous scholarship reserved for Ph.D. applicants that demonstrated the quality of a genius in a Ph.D. proposal and academic or professional records. Prof. Cook and Jafar also secured a 20-million-dollar project grant for the proposal, based on Jafar’s ideas and inputs from Prof. Cook, submitted to the country’s national research foundation (NRF). NRF typically received hundreds of submissions from universities and research institutes in the UK for the highly competitive annual research grant call.

Jafar went on to conduct the research and successfully completed his Ph.D. study amidst several unexpected logistics-related problems, difficulties in recruiting research assistants willing to travel to his home country, and difficulties in getting residents in his village to participate in the project. The challenges extended his Ph.D. candidature for additional six months.

However, Jafar produced outstanding research outcomes, which were received favourably by all stakeholders. His hypothesis that burning kerosene significantly contributed to air pollutants of interest, poor perceived air quality, and an increase in the prevalence of complaints, hospital visits, and hospitalisations associated with respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases was confirmed to be true.

The low-cost, portable, rugged, and easy-to-use photovoltaic power bank he developed for electricity supply performed as he hoped to deliver healthy indoor air for a healthier life. The success of the project in lowering the prevalence of the reported diseases in Jafar’s village was attributed to the developed power bank aiding indoor air pollutants source removal, reduction in resident time of air pollutants, high air movement, and effective mixing of outdoor air with indoor air. Jafar won the best Ph.D. thesis award. Jafar, Prof. Cook, and several research team members co-authored more than 15 journal articles regarded to be of the highest quality by peers in the scientific community and professionals in the industry.

The success of the research and accolades received by the team also contributed to Prof. Cook’s promotion to be a distinguished full professor of public health engineering at Cambridge. Jafar resumed his work at Cambridge school of medicine on a full-time basis. In addition, to being an interventional cardiologist, Jafar also received a joint position at Cambridge’s school of medicine and department of engineering. Jafar was an assistant professor of interventional cardiology and an assistant professor of public health engineering. Hmmm! Only a genius and highly motivated person like Jafar could achieve such a feat.

Jafar set up two research labs, one at the school of medicine and one at the department of engineering. Jafar got renewable 10-year funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to set up the lab at the department of engineering to improve public health in the least developed and developing countries through engineering.

Jafar worked with governments and agencies in several countries in developing and adopting the power bank solution to deliver healthy indoor air and improve public health. He also researched the development of solar energy power grid systems for reliable electricity supply of healthy indoor air delivery and improvement to public health. His research also motivated several governments to invest in environmentally friendly and reliable electricity supply.

Jafar’s interventional cardiology research lab was also dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding and improving lives in the least developed and developing countries. He focused his labs’ research efforts on least developed and developing countries because of little knowledge, understanding, and research and development in those parts of the world.

Jafar attracted exceptional talents from all over the world in both research labs. He also won research grants, in addition to funding from UNDP, from several research agencies in the UK. Students and research staff in his labs came from least developed, developing, and developed countries.

Jafar became an internationally celebrated interventional cardiologist, public health engineer, educator, researcher, and humanitarian with one goal in mind. The goal is to use his genius to facilitate healthy living for people, irrespective of their socioeconomic status. Jafar later became Edward Brian Endowed Professor of Interventional Cardiology at the School of Medicine and Kareem Smith Professor of Public Health Engineering at the engineering department.

Jafar’s parents lived long enough to witness the success of their son. His twin sisters were very proud of him. Jafar made sure he took care of his parents and twin sisters and his sisters’ nuclear families. Jafar also maintained a very good relationship with Mr. Paul Benson and his family. Mr. Benson was very proud of him. Jafar would never tell his story without mentioning Mr. Benson with admiration and gratitude. Jafar and his wife and their twins, a boy, and a girl, lived happily as a family.

Jafar’s children were also very brilliant with very high IQ (intelligent quotient). Jafar’s daughter became a neurosurgeon while his son became a full professor of mathematics at Havard University. Jafar won many awards in his lifetime. He was an icon in his country, continent, and globally.

Jafar died at 89, 2 weeks shy of his 90th birthday. He was mourned all over the world. The University of Cambridge created an endowed professorship, funded by UNDP, position in his name. The university also created scholarship positions in his name for talented students from least developed and developing countries. Jafar made his mark in this world through the use of his God-given gift and talent to ensure healthy indoor air delivery. THE END!


  1. Hey Moshood, great read! Being a fellow blogger myself, I also really appreciate how organized and well-formatted everything was – it definitely made the content much more digestible overall. Keep up the awesome work!

    Liked by 1 person

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