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
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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
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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
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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
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