CAPS trial exceeds recruitment target

News article 8 Feb 2016

The Cooking and Pneumonia Study (CAPS) has now exceeded its recruitment target by signing up 10,726 children under the age of 5, making it the largest trial of the effects of an advanced cookstove intervention on health outcomes conducted anywhere in the world. 

The two-year study is tracking children who live in randomised villages in Chikhwawa and Chilumba in Malawi. The homes of the children involved in the study have been supplied with two clean cookstoves to see if the new stoves, which can reduce emissions by up to 90%, will stop the children getting pneumonia, a major cause of death in this age group.

The adverse health effects of domestic smoke inhalation is a particular problem in low and middle-income countries around the world, where open fires, used for cooking, heating and lighting, are commonly used inside the main living quarters of homes.

Co-Principal Investigator Dr Kevin Mortimer, a Respiratory Consultant at Liverpool’s Aintree University Hospital and Senior Clinical Lecturer at LSTM, is delighted as CAPS reaches a significant milestone: “CAPS is by far the largest trial of its kind conducted anywhere in the world, with more families than our original target now recruited, and all ahead of schedule. With many of the children involved already completing their data collection, looking at the levels of carbon monoxide in the air they breathe, we remain on time and on target to deliver results at the end of 2016. The advanced cookstoves we are studying burn fuel more efficiently, substantially reducing the amount of time spent gathering fuel as well as the amount of smoke emitted during cooking.”

The study is funded by a £2.7 million grant from the Joint Global Health Trials Scheme, a partnership of the UK Department for International Development (DfID), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Wellcome Trust. It is being implemented in Malawi through collaborative partnerships between the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, The Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, The Malawi College of Medicine and the Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit.

For more information, go to the CAPS website.