Community health perspective of gas flaring on communities in Delta region of Nigeria: narrative review
Keywords:Community risks, Health problems, Regulatory policies
The Nigerian gas flares emit as many imaginable pollutants that cause several health concerns. However, there is no comprehensive study done on the health impact of gas flaring on humans in Delta state. Hence, this paper seeks to identify the risks associated with gas flaring in relation to human health and the knowledge of gas flaring in the communities of Delta region of Nigeria. Following a non-systematic approach to develop this narrative, studies that link various diseases such as hypertension, cancers, birth defects, diabetes, respiratory problems, cardiovascular and kidney disease to gas flaring in the region, the risk perception and the policies and regulations were examined. Findings from most of the papers reviewed show an association between gas flaring and the diseases identified and prevalence of most of the diseases in oil and gas communities compared to areas where gas flaring is not practiced. In conclusion, insufficient data on the prevalence and association of diseases such as hypertension, cancers, birth defects, diabetes, respiratory problems, cardiovascular and kidney disease with gas flaring were some of the gaps identified. These results necessitate the need for epidemiological studies on the health effects of gas flaring on humans.
Hamso B. Nigeria’s flaring reduction target 2020, the World Bank. Available at: https://www.worldbank. org/en/news/feature/2017/03/10/nigerias-flaring-reduction-target-2020. Accessed on 21 September 2020.
Aregbe AG. Natural gas flaring-alternative solutions. World J Eng Technol. 2017;5(1): 139-53.
Egwurugwu J, Nwafor A, Ezekwe S. Impacts of prolonged exposure to gas flares on some blood indices in humans in the Niger Delta Region, Nigeria. Arch Appl Sci Res. 2013;5(1):98-104.
Osuji LC, Avwiri GO. Flared gases and other pollutants associated with air quality in industrial areas of Nigeria: an overview. Chem Biodivers. 2005;2(10):1277-89.
Tawari C, Abowei J. Air pollution in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. Int J Fish Aquat Sci. 2012;1(2):94-117.
Oluduro O, Durojaye E. The implications of oil pollution for the enjoyment of sexual and reproductive rights of women in Niger Delta area of Nigeria. Int J Hum Rights. 2013;17: 772-95.
Akuirene O, Adjene J, Obi N, Nwose E. Impact of gas flaring in Ubeji metropolis of Delta State Nigeria: a comparative survey of environment health effects. Int J Sci Rep. 2019;5:283.
Ana G. Air pollution in the niger delta area: scope, challenges and remedies. In: Khallaf M eds. The impact of air pollution on health, economy, environment and agricultural sources. London: IntechOpen; 2011:9;181-98.
World health organization, cancer, 2018. Available at: https://www.who.int/health-topics/cancer-tab= tab_1. Accessed on 21 September 2020.
Ana G, Sridhar M and Bamgboye E. Environmental risk factors and health outcomes in selected communities of the Niger delta area, Nigeria. Perspect Public Health. 2009;129:183-91.
Ana G, Sridhar M, Asuzu M. Environmental risk factors and hospital-based cancers in two Nigerian cities. J Public Health Epidemiol. 2010;2(2):216-23.
World health organization, congenital anomalies, 2018. Available at: https://www.who.int/health-topics/congenital-anomalies#tab=tab_1. Accessed on 21 September 2020.
Abbey M, Oloyede O, Bassey G, Kejeh B, Otaigbe B, Opara P, et al. Prevalence and pattern of birth defects in a tertiary health facility in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. Int J Womens Health. 2017;9:115-21.
Study of natural gas flaring finds high risks to babies. Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/2020/07/200715142331.htm. Accessed on 21 September 2020.
World health organization, diabetes, 2018. Available at: https://www.who.int/health-topics/diabetes - tab= tab_1. Accessed on 21 September 2020.
Nwafor A, Mmom F, Obia O, Obiandu C, Hart V, Chinko B. Relationship between blood pressure, blood glucose and body mass index and coexisting prehypertension and prediabetes among rural adults in Niger Delta Region, Nigeria. BJMMR. 2015;9(7): 1-12.
World health organization, hypertension, 2018. Available at: https://www.who.int/health-topics/ hypertension. Accessed on 21 September 2020.
Egwurugwu J, Nwafor A. Prolonged exposure to oil and gas flares ups the risks for hypertension. Am J Health Res. 2013;1(3):65-72.
Ezejimofor M, Uthman O, Maduka O, Ezeabasili A, Onwuchekwa A, Ezejimofor B, et al. The burden of hypertension in an oil-and gas-polluted environment: a comparative cross-sectional study. Am J Hypertens. 2016;29(8):925-33.
Maduka O, Tobin-West C. Is living in a gas-flaring host community associated with being hypertensive? Evidence from the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. BMJ Glob Health. 2017;2(4):e000413.
Ovuakporaye S, Aloamaka C, Ojieh A, Ejebe D, Mordi J. Effect of gas flaring on lung function among residents in gas flaring community in Delta State, Nigeria. Res J Environ Earth Sci. 2012;4(5): 525-8.
Climate change and human health: risks and responses. 2003. Available at: https://apps.who.int/ iris/bitstream/handle/10665/42742/924156248X_en.pdf. Accessed on 21 September 2020.
Egwurugwu I, Nwafor A, Oluronfemi O, Iwuji S, Alagwu E. Impact of prolonged exposure to oil and gas flares on human renal functions. Int Res J Medical Sci. 2013;1(11):9-16.
Okafor U, Ahmed S, Unuigbe E. Screening for risk factors of chronic kidney disease in a community in Niger Delta Nigeria. Ann Afr Med. 2015;14(3):137-42.
Ovuakporaye SI, Igweh CJ, Aloamaka CP. Impact of gas flaring on cardiopulmonary parameters of residents in gas flaring communities in Niger Delta Nigeria. BJMMR. 2016;15(6):1-13.
World health organization, cardiovascular diseases, 2019. Available at: https://www.who.int/health-topics/cardiovascular-diseases - tab=tab_1. Accessed on 21 September 2020.
McKenzie L, Crooks J, Peel J, Blair B, Brindley S, Allshouse W, et al. Relationships between indicators of cardiovascular disease and intensity of oil and natural gas activity in Northeastern Colorado. Environ Res. 2019;170:56-64.
Okoli CG. Rural households perception of the impact of crude iol exploration in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local Government area of Rivers State, Nigeria. J Agric Soc Res. 2006;6(2):86-91.
Edino M, Nsofor G, Bombom L. Perceptions and attitudes towards gas flaring in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Environmentalist 2010;30:67-75.
Nriagu J, Udofia E, Ekong I, Ebuk G. Health risks associated with oil pollution in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016;13(3): 346.
What is the United Nations framework convention on climate change, 2019. Available at: https://unfccc. int/process-and-meetings/the-convention/what-is-the-united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change. Accessed on 21 September 2020.
Global gas flaring reduction initiative: Report on consultation with stakeholders. Available at: http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/503141595343850009/WB-GGFR-Report-July2020.pdf. Accessed on 21 September 2020.
Nigerian gas flare commercialization programme, Nigeria's gas flare landscape. Available at: https://ngfcp.dpr.gov.ng/about-us/our-mandate/our-vision/. Accessed on 21 September 2020.
Otiotio D. Gas flaring regulation in the oil and gas industry: A comparative analysis of Nigeria and Texas regulations. Available at: https://www. academia.edu/3615407/Gas_flaring_regulation_in_the_oil_and_gas_industry_a_Comparative_Analysis_of_Nigeria_and_Texas_Regulations. Accessed on 21 September 2020.
Udok U, Akpan EB. Gas flaring in Nigeria: Problems and prospects. Global J Polit Law Res. 2017;5(1):16-28.
Sako EB. Public health implications of oil pollution in Koluama: Nigeria. Available at: https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/dissertations/3259. Accessed on 21 September 2020.
Osuoka A, Roderick P. Gas flaring in Nigeria, a human rights, environmental and economic monstrosity. Available at: https://landportal.org/ library/resources/eldisa20035/gas-flaring-nigeria-human-rights-environmental-and-economic. Accessed on 21 September 2020.