Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 4

Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions. Write your answers in your Study Diary and discuss them with your Tutor at the next Study Support Meeting. You can check your answers with the Notes on the Self-Assessment Questions at the end of this Module.

SAQ 4.1 (tests Learning Outcome 4.1)

Briefly describe the main factors that contribute to indoor air pollution from smoke. What effect can it have on human physiology?


The main factors leading to indoor air pollution are the structure and layout of the dwelling, the location of the fire and the type of fuel. If the fire is inside the living area of the house and there are no windows for ventilation, the air is likely to become polluted with smoke. The type of fuel is important because biomass fuels, such as animal dung, produce a lot of smoke, especially if they are not completely dry.

Smoke affects breathing and can lead to acute respiratory infections, bronchitis and chronic lung disease.

SAQ 4.2 (tests Learning Outcomes 4.1 and 4.2)

Match the four basic requirements of healthful housing with the following problems linked to housing.

Problem linked to housingThe basic requirements of healthful housing
Lack of windows
No school in the village
Injury from falling


Problem linked to housingThe basic requirements of healthful housing
DiarrhoeaProtection against infection
Lack of windowsPhysiological satisfaction
No school in the villageProtection against psychological and social stress
Injury from fallingProtection against accident

SAQ 4.3 (tests Learning Outcome 4.2)

The Communicable Diseases Module describes four categories of disease transmission mechanism. These are:

  1. faeco-orally transmitted diseases
  2. droplet infections
  3. skin (contact) infections
  4. vector-borne disease.

Name at least one disease from each category that can be related to poor housing, and describe how poor housing aids the spread of these diseases.


  1. Faeco-orally transmitted diseases. Examples: typhoid fever, acute watery diarrhoea. Poor housing may contribute to the spread of these diseases due to poor personal hygiene, absence of a latrine or poor utilisation of a latrine, and poor waste management around the home.
  2. Droplet infections. Examples: TB, influenza, measles. Due to poor ventilation in the home and crowding as a result of limited housing space.
  3. Skin (contact) infections. Examples: scabies, ringworm. Due to crowding as a result of limited housing space.
  4. Vector-borne diseases. Examples: relapsing fever, typhus fever. Due to crowding, vectors such as lice can easily travel from an infected person to someone else nearby.

SAQ 4.4 (tests Learning Outcome 4.3)

What are the requirements for a model house in terms of size, rooms (separation of rooms), ventilation, facilities and cleanliness?


The requirements for a model house are:

  1. It must be an adequate size depending on the number of people in the family.
  2. The window area to floor area proportion should not be less than 10%.
  3. The tukul must have partitions (sleeping, dining, kitchen and store rooms).
  4. The kitchen and animal sheds must be outside the main rooms.
  5. It must have a latrine and handwashing facilities.
  6. The kitchen has an improved stove with a chimney.
  7. The interior of the dwelling and the immediate environment is clean.

SAQ 4.5 (tests Learning Outcome 4.4)

Emebet cooks on an open fire in her small kitchen; she uses mostly dung and maize husks as fuel. She leaves the door open when cooking but there is no window or chimney. She has two children aged 3 and 1, and they are usually close by her when she is cooking. The cooking area is not separated from the main house.

If you were advising her how to reduce the dangers of indoor air pollution in her home, what steps would you recommend to her?


Possible advice to give to Emebet would be:

  1. Separate the kitchen from the rest of the house.
  2. Install a window and open it while cooking.
  3. Have an improved stove with a chimney.
  4. Make sure that she uses dried dung and maize husk as they will burn more cleanly and not give off such harmful smoke as damp dung and husks.
  5. Make sure the children are not exposed to smoke during cooking.

SAQ 4.6 (tests Learning Outcomes 4.5 and 4.6)

Suppose you are assessing the housing in the village where you are working to see if there are any problems.

  • a.What will you do in order to identify the problems?
  • b.What are the most important criteria you would use when judging the healthfulness of a tukul?


  • a.Prepare a checklist and visit some tukuls. Fill in the checklist based on your observations. You will be able to judge the most common housing problems. You should then list all possible housing problems that could be shared in the community. Make priorities based on discussions with the community and local government staff. Check the availability of local materials and trained technicians that can carry out housing improvements. Design a plan of action for housing improvements and implement according to a schedule.
  • b.The most important criteria are: size of a tukul based on family size; presence of partitions; presence of windows; presence of a latrine; separated kitchen and animal sheds; presence of improved stoves.

Summary of Study Session 4