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Association between satellite-detected tropospheric nitrogen dioxide and acute respiratory infections in children under age five in Senegal: spatio-temporal analysis



There is growing evidence to suggest that exposure to a high concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) can lead to a higher incidence of Acute Respiratory Infections (ARIs) in children; however, such an association remains understudied in Sub-Saharan Africa due to the limited availability of exposure data. This study explored this association by using the satellite-detected tropospheric NO2 concentrations measured by Sentinel-5 Precursor and ARI symptoms in children under age five collected in the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) in Senegal.


We matched the daily tropospheric NO2 exposure with the individual ARI symptoms according to the DHS survey clusters spatially and temporally and conducted a logistic regression analysis to estimate the association of exposure to NO2 with ARI symptoms in two preceding weeks.


We observed a positive association between exposure to continuous levels of NO2 and ARI symptoms after adjusting for confounders (OR 1.27 per 10 mol/m2, 95% CI: 1.06 - 1.52). When the association was further examined by quartile exposure categories, the 4th quartile category was positively associated with symptoms of ARI after adjusting for confounders (OR 1.71, 95% CI: 1.08-2.69). This suggests that exposure to certain high levels of NO2 is associated with the increased risk of children having symptoms of ARI in Senegal.


This study highlights the need for increased research on the effects of ambient NO2 exposure in Africa as well as the need for more robust, ground-based air monitoring in the region. For a country like Senegal, where more than 90% of the population lives in areas that do not meet the national air quality standards, it is urgently required to implement air pollution prevention efforts to protect children from the health hazards of air pollution.

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