Awareness of Aflatoxin Health Risks Among Parents with Children Aged Between 6-23 Months in Central Tanzania
International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences
Volume 5, Issue 6, November 2016, Pages: 429-436
Received: Oct. 23, 2016; Accepted: Dec. 10, 2016; Published: Jan. 10, 2017
Views 2646      Downloads 83
Selestin Ngoma, Department of Food Technology, Nutrition and Consumer Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania; Department of Public Health, The University of Dodoma, Dodoma, Tanzania
Bendantukuka Tiisekwa, Department of Food Technology, Nutrition and Consumer Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
Dismas Mwaseba, Department of Agricultural Extension and Community Development, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
Martin Kimanya, Department of Food Biotechnology and Nutrition Sciences, the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania
Article Tools
Follow on us
In Tanzania, aflatoxin contamination and exposure in complementary foods was very high. However, it remains unknown whether the extent of the risks of exposure is linked to the levels of awareness among parents especially mothers who prepare and feed infants with cereal based complementary foods. This study was a cross-sectional study designed to assess the levels and factors of awareness of aflatoxin health risks among parents or caregivers with children in Central Tanzania. Data for the study were collected using aninterview schedule which was administered to 364 households with parents/caregivers of children aged between 6-23 months, and focus group discussions (FGDs)with 121(105 femalesand 16 males) participants. The results show that 82% of the parents/caregivers were not aware of aflatoxin contamination in complementary foods and their health effects. The odds[odds ratio (OR)=0.3, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.1-0.6)] of a parent with low(less than US$ 22.8) monthly income to be aware of aflatoxin contamination and its effects, was significantly (p<0.05) less compared with that of a parent whose monthly income was high (more thanUS$ 22.8).An employed participant (OR=13.5, 95% CI: 1.7-105.2) is significantly(p<0.05) more likely to be aware of aflatoxin contamination than a farmer.The findings were complemented by results of the FGDs which showed that people were not aware of aflatoxin contamination in complementary foods. The FGD showed that participants were only aware of the presence of fungi in cereal type of foods, which leads to changes of taste and imparts unpleasant smell in foods. It is concluded that the level of awareness about aflatoxin contamination and health risks is very low in the study community. As such, there is an urgent need to raise awareness and educate parents/caregivers onaflatoxin risks associated with complementary foods in Central Tanzania.
Aflatoxin, Awareness, Complementary Foods, Parents
To cite this article
Selestin Ngoma, Bendantukuka Tiisekwa, Dismas Mwaseba, Martin Kimanya, Awareness of Aflatoxin Health Risks Among Parents with Children Aged Between 6-23 Months in Central Tanzania, International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences. Vol. 5, No. 6, 2016, pp. 429-436. doi: 10.11648/j.ijnfs.20160506.19
Copyright © 2016 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Wild, C. P. and Gong, Y. Y., 2010.Mycotoxins and human disease: A largely ignoredglobalhealthissue. International Agency for Research on Cancer, 69372 Lyon Cedex 08, France and Molecular Epidemiology Unit, LIGHT Laboratories, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK. Carcinogenesis 31: 71-82.
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 1993. Toxins derived from Fumonisins moniliforme; Fumonisins B1 and B2 and Fusarin C. Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Human 56: 445-466.
Williams, J. H., Phillips, T. D., Jolly, P. E., Stiles, J. K., Jolly, C.M. and Aggarwal, D., 2004. Human aflatoxicosis in developing countries: a review of toxicology, exposure, potential health consequences, and interventions. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 80: 1106-1122.
Turner, P. C., Collinson, A. C., Cheung, Y. B., Gong, Y. Y., Hall, A. J., Prentice, A. M. and Wild, C. P., 2007. Aflatoxin exposure in utero causes growth faltering in Gambian infants. International Journal Epidemiology 36: 1119-25.
Wu, F., Narrod, C., Tiongco, M. and Liu, Y., 2011. The health economics of aflatoxins: Global burden of diseases. Working paper 4.
CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), 2004. Outbreak of aflatoxin poisoning in Eastern and Central Provinces, Kenya, January-June 2004. MMWR Morbidity Mortal Weekly Report 53: 790-793.
Azziz-Baumgartner, E., Lindblade, K., Gieseker, K., Rogers, H. S., Kieszak, S. and Njapau, H., 2005. Case-control study of an acute aflatoxicosis outbreak in Kenya, 2004. Environmental Health Perspectives 113: 1779-1783.
Strosnider, H., Azziz-Baumgartner, E. and Banziger, M., 2006. Work group report: Public health strategies for reducing aflatoxin exposure in developing countries. Environmental Health Perspective 114: 1898-1903.
Cotty, P. J. and Bhatnagar, D., 1994. Variability among a toxigenic Aspergillus flavus strains in ability to prevent aflatoxin contamination and production of aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway enzymes. Applied Environmental Microbiology 60: 2248-51.
Cotty, P. J. and Jaime-Garcia, R., 2007. Influences of climate on aflatoxin producing fungi and aflatoxin contamination. International Journal of Food Microbiology 119: 109-115.
Cotty, P. J., Probst, C. and Jaime-Garcia, R., 2008. Etiology and management of aflatoxin contamination. Mycotoxins: Detection Methods, Management Public Health and Agricultural Trade. pp. 287-299.
Ncube, E., Flett, B. C., Waalwijk, C. and Viljoen, A., 2010. Occurrence of aflatoxins and aflatoxin producing Aspergillus spp. associated with groundnut production in subsistence farming systems in South Africa. South African Journal of Plant and Soil Vol. 27(2).
Lanyasunya, T. P., Wamae, L. W., Musa, H. H., Olowofeso, O. and Lokwaleput, I.K., 2005. The risk of mycotoxins contamination of dairy feed and milk on smallholder dairy farms in Kenya. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 4: 162-169.
Food and Agricultural Organizatin (FAO), 1998. African Experience in the Improvement of Post-harvest Techniques. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Available at:
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 2004.Worldwide Regulations for Mycotoxins in Food and Feed in 2003. FAO Food and Nutrition Paper 81, Rome, Italy.
World Health Organization (WHO), 2006. Global Environment Monitoring System-Food Contamination Monitoring and Assessment Programme (GEMS/Food). Available at:
Lopez-Garcia, R. and Park, D.L., 1998. Effectiveness of post-harvest procedures in management of mycotoxin hazards. Mycotoxins in agriculture and food safety, pp. 407-433. New York, Marcel Dekker.
CAST (Council for Agricultural Science and Technology), 2003. Mycotoxins: Risks in plant, animal, and human systems. USA: Task Force Report No. 139.
Jolly, C. M., Bayarda, B., Awuah, R. T., Fialor, S. C. and Williams, J. T., 2008. Examining the structure of awareness and perceptions of groundnut aflatoxin among Ghanaian health and agricultural professionals and its influence on their actions. The journal of socioeconomics 10.1016:05:013.
Marechera, G. and Ndwiga, J., 2014. Farmer perceptions of aflatoxin management strategies in lower eastern Kenya. Journal of agriculture extension and rural development 6:382-392.
Monyo, E. S., Osiru, M., Siambi, M. and Chinyamumyamu, B., 2010. Assessing the occurrence and distribution of aflatoxins in Malawi. Available at: le/u ploa d/1 /document/1108.
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM). 2009. Assessing Occurrence and Distribution of Aflatoxins in Malawi-Project Final Report.
Shirima, C. P., Kimanya, M. E., Kinabo, J. L., Routledge, M.N., Srey, C., Wild, C. P. and Gong, Y. Y., 2013. Dietary exposure to aflatoxin and fumonisin among Tanzanian children as determined using biomarkers of exposure. Journal of Molecular Nutrition of Food Research 57: 1874-1881.
Kimanya, M. E., Shirima, C. P., Magoha, H., Shewiyo, D. H., De Meulenaer, B., Kolsteren, P. and Gong, Y.Y., 2014. Co-exposures of aflatoxins with deoxynivalenol and fumonisins from maize based complementary foods in Rombo, Northern Tanzania. Journal of Food Control 41: 76-81.
Kamala, A., Kimanya, M., Haesaert, G., Tiisekwa, B., Madege, R., Degraeve, S., Cyprian, C. and De Meulenaer, B., 2016. Local post-harvest practices associated with aflatoxin and fumonisin contamination of maize in three agro ecological zones of Tanzania. Food Additives and Contaminants Part A 33: 551-559.
Shirima, C. P., Kimanya, M. E., Routledge, M. N., Srey, C., Kinabo, J. L., Humpf, H. U., Wild, C. P., Tu, Y. K. and Gong, Y. Y., 2014. A prospective study of growth and biomarkers of exposure to aflatoxin and fumonisin during early childhood in Tanzania. Environmental Health Perspectives 123: 173-178.
Magoha, H., Kimanya, M., De Meulenaer B., Roberfroid, D., Lachat, C. and Kolsteren, P., 2014c. Risk of dietary exposure to aflatoxins and fumonisins in infants less than 6 months of age in Rombo, Northern Tanzania. Maternal and Child Nutrition. Doi:10.1111/mcn.12155.
Magoha, H., Kimanya, M., De Meulenaer B., Roberfroid, D., Lachat, C. and Kolsteren, P., 2014b. Association between aflatoxin M1 exposure through breast milk and growth impairment in infants from Northern Tanzania. World Mycotoxin Journal 7: 277-284.
Krueger, R. A. and Casey, M. A. 2015. Focus groups; A practical guide for applied research, 5th Edition. India, SAGE Publications Asia-Pacific Pte. Ltd.
Hancock, B. 1998. Trent Focus for Research and Development in Primary Health Care. An Introduction to Qualitative Research. Division of General Practice, Focus Group, 1998.
Sabran, M. R., Jamaluddin, R., Abdul Mutalib, M. S., Abdul Rahman, N., 2012. Socio-demographic and socio-economic determinants of adults’ knowledge on fungal and aflatoxin contamination in the diets. Malaysia. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine S1835-S1841.
Ephrem, G., Amare, A., Mashilla, D., Mengistu, K., Belachew, A. and Chemeda, F., 2014. Stakeholders’ awareness and knowledge about aflatoxin contamination of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) and associated factors in Eastern Ethiopia. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine 4: 930-937.
James, B., Adda, C., Cardwell, K., Annang, D. M., Hell, K. and Korie, S., 2007.Information campaign on aflatoxin contamination of maize grains in market stores in Benin, Ghana and Togo. Food Additive Contamination 24: 1283-1291.
Rajendra, Y. D., Mali, Bhagwan, S. and Deshmukh, S. A., 2014. Survey on aflatoxin awareness and assessment of Pune District of Maharashtra, India. Pelagia Research Library Advances in Applied Science Research 5: 18-24.
Narrod, C., Tiongco, M., Ndjeunga, J., Collier, W. and Lamissa, D., 2011. Do knowledge, attitude and perceptions about aflatoxin effect producer action. A case study of Malian groundnut producers. Aflacontrol Working Paper.
Kaaya, N. A. and Warren, H. L., 2005. A review of past and present research on aflatoxin in Uganda. African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2005.
Smith, J. E. and Moss M. O., 1985. Mycotoxins formation, analysis and significance, John Wiley and Son Ltd, Chichester, Great Britain, pp.148.
Daniel, J. H., Lewis, L. W., Redwood, Y. A., Kieszak, S., Breiman, R. F., Flanders, W. D., Bell, C., Mwihia, J., Ogana, G., Likimani, S., Straetemans, M. and McGeehin, M. A., 2011. Comprehensive Assessment of Maize Aflatoxin Levels in Eastern Kenya, 2005-2007. Environmental Health Perspectives 119: 1794-1799.
Hawkins, L. K., Windham, G. L. and William W. P., 2005. Effects of different post harvesting drying temperature on Aspergillus flavus survival and aflatoxin content in five maize hybrids. Journal of Food Production68: 1521-1524.
Maren, A. K., 2002. Identification of common Aspergillus species. United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research, Southern Regional Research Center New Orleans; Louisiana, USA, pp 46-76.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186