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Food Safety Practice and Associated Factors among Meat Handlers in Gondar Town: A Cross-Sectional Study
Introduction. Animal sources of foods (ASF), including meat, are a source of high-quality nutrients. However, meat composition makes it an ideal medium for the growth of a good number of microorganisms. Around 600 million foodborne illnesses and 420000 deaths occur each year due to poor food handling practice. Thus, probing into meat handling practice will be an insatiable input for the intervention. This study aims to investigate the level of meat handling practice and associated factors among meat handlers in butcheries in Gondar town, Ethiopia. Method. The study was a community-based cross-sectional study among butcher shops in Gondar town from April 20 to 30, 2019. Data were collected using a pretested structured questionnaire by trained data collectors among 214 meat handlers from butcher shops. Multivariable logistic regression analysis with a 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to identify the factors significantly associated with a good level of meat handling practice. Result. More than half of the meat handlers 66.4% (95% CI: (59.8, 72.4)) in butcher shops had a good level of meat handling practice. Level of attitude (AOR = 4.45; 95% CI, 2.09–9.43) and knowledge (AOR = 2.04; 95% CI, 1.09–3.82) were significantly associated with a good level of meat handling practice. The majority of respondents wash their hands after disposing garbage (91.6%) with less vigilance after smoking, sneezing, or coughing (64.0%). Conclusion. The study revealed that the level of food handling practice was unsatisfactory among meat handlers. This result is a testimony to the prevailing potential risk faced by consumers due to the disregarding of hygienic behaviors by food handlers. Considering attitude and knowledge are associated with the outcome variable, investing time on behavioral change activities that will contribute to the improvement of meat handler’s attitude & practice, primarily focusing on reducing working while ill is essential. Therefore, much supervisory and coaching work will be expected from local health departments & regulatory bodies.
Assessment of Occupational Health and Safety among Scavengers in Gaza Strip, Palestine
This study deals with the occupational health and safety of valuable and recyclable waste collectors (called scavengers) in the Gaza Strip, Palestine. The analytical descriptive approach was used in this study to achieve this goal. Waste pickers in the study area are working informally at existing dumpsites, solid waste transfer stations, landfills, and community streets’ bins areas. A sample of 301 scavengers was surveyed filling a structured questionnaire designed for this purpose, during individual interviews. In addition, interviews with key Palestinian officials in the Gaza Strip have been conducted to provide accurate data and comprehensive information regarding waste pickers activities. The results showed that the occupational health and safety of the waste pickers is in constant deterioration mainly due to the informal nature of their work. The waste pickers are reportedly suffering in the current situation and the majority has no access to potable water, sanitation, and hygienically appropriate place to sleep and have meals. None of them has ever received occupational health and safety training. The study recommends that local decision makers should uptake short-term and long-term measures in waste management sector both aiming at improving this vulnerable social group’s health and safety life status.
Nutritional Status of School Going Adolescent Girls in Awash Town, Afar Region, Ethiopia
Background. Adolescence is an essential stage in the human life cycle, a transition period between childhood and adulthood that is characterized by rapid growth spurt in which nutritional requirement is high. Adolescents are risk groups for malnutrition, but they are not part of a target in many intervention strategies. Hence, this study was aimed at assessing nutritional status of adolescent girls and its associated factors. Methods. Institutional based cross-sectional study design was employed among randomly selected 348 school going adolescent girls. Data were entered into Epi Info and transported to SPSS version 20 for further analysis. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to identify predicators of nutritional status of adolescent girls at value <0.05 and 95% confidence level. Results. This study revealed that 22.9% and 8.82% of school adolescent girls were stunted and thin, respectively. Being at early adolescent age (14-15 years) [AOR = 1.4, 95% CI (1.04–4.28)], ownership of phone [AOR = 3.3, 95% CI (1.55–7.02)], and dietary diversity score of <4 food groups [AOR = 2.2, 95% CI (1.4–4.54)] were some of the potential predictors of stunting. Similarly, dietary diversity score of <4 food groups [AOR = 1.8, 95% CI (1.14–4.38)] and low food consumption [AOR = 3, 95% CI (1.15–7.90)] were some of the potential predictors of thinness. Conclusion and Recommendation. The prevalence of both stunting and thinness is a public health problem in the study area. Early adolescent age (10–14 years), ownership of phone, and dietary diversity score of <4 food groups were independent predictors of stunting. Dietary diversity score of <4 food groups and eating less than usual were independent predictors of thinness. An integrated nutritional intervention and health related services that meet the needs of adolescent girls in the school community have to be established and strengthened. Since adolescent age is period of growth and development in which growth spurt and nutritional requirement are high, adolescents should be provided with enough meals and diversified foods.
Assessment of Heavy Metal Concentrations with Fractionation Method in Sediments and Waters of the Badovci Lake (Kosovo)
The concentrations of thirteen metals (Al, As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, and Zn) were analyzed in waters and sediments of the Badovci Lake. The total metal concentrations in the water followed the descending order: Fe > Al > Mn > Cu > Ba > Zn > As > Ni > Pb > V > Co > Cd > Cr, and the total metal content in the sediments also followed the descending order: Fe > Al > Mn > Ni > Cr > Pb > Ba > Zn > V > Cu > As > Co > Cd. According to EC 98/83, Al, Fe, and Mn at some sampling sites exceeded safety limits for drinking water, whereas other elements were at acceptable levels. The total content of Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and V in the sediments exceeded the target values of the New Dutch List. Using pollution indicators such as the contamination factor (CF) and geoaccumulation index (Igeo), most of the samples were unpolluted to moderately polluted by Cu, Cr, Pb, V, and Ni. The values of the pollution load index (PLI) were more than one (>1), indicating progressive deterioration of the sediment quality. The enrichment factor (EF) for all the studied metals suggests their enrichments in sediments of the Badovci Lake. Most of the elements were found in the residual fraction strongly bonded to the crystalline component. Pb, Mn, and Cu were bound in the organic and exchangeable components. The extent of pollution by heavy metals in sediments of the Badovci Lake implies that the environmental condition is relatively stable, and attention should be paid to metals bonded in the extractable and organic phases. It is recommended to periodically monitor water and sediment quality.
Trends and Factors Associated with Healthcare Utilization for Childhood Diarrhea and Fever in Ethiopia: Further Analysis of the Demographic and Health Surveys from 2000 to 2016
Background. Healthcare use for childhood illness reduces the risk of under-five deaths from common preventable diseases. However, rates of healthcare seeking for childhood diarrhea and fever remain low in most low- and middle-income countries including Ethiopia. This study aimed to assess the trends and factors for healthcare diarrhea and fever in Ethiopia from 2000 to 2016. Methods. Analysis of healthcare use for diarrhea and fever trends was done using data from four Ethiopian Demographic Health Surveys. Descriptive statistics were used to report sample characteristics and healthcare use for diarrhea and fever trends, and chi-square tests were used to assess associations between independent variables and healthcare utilization in each survey. Binary logistic regression analysis was fitted to find the factors related to healthcare utilization for diarrhea and fever. All variables with odds ratio values <0.05 were considered as significant determinants of the outcome. Results. Healthcare seeking for diarrheal illness significantly increased from 13% (95% CI: 12.5–13.5) in 2000 to 44% (95% CI: 43.2–44.78) in 2016, while healthcare uses for fever significantly increased from 22% (95% CI: 16.7–27.3) in 2000 to 35% (95% CI: 34.3–35.7) in 2016. Factors of healthcare seeking for diarrhea in 2000–2016 were as follows: maternal age <30 years, urban residence, being a male child, nonexposure to mass media and not hearing information about oral rehydration, no desire to have more children, poor wealth index, and region. Meanwhile, factors for healthcare seeking for fever in 2000–2016 were as follows: a long distance from the nearest health facilities, first birth order, nonexposure to mass media, no desire to have more children, maternal age <30 years, urban residence, region, absence of antenatal and postnatal care utilization, poor wealth index, and being born from uneducated mothers ( values < 0.05). Conclusions. Factors associated with healthcare utilization for diarrhea and fever differed between 2000 and 2016. Though Ethiopia has achieved a significant reduction in under-five mortality, it needs to accelerate the reduction through strengthening healthcare utilization for common childhood illness to avoid deaths from preventable diseases.
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions of Air Pollution in Accra, Ghana: A Critical Survey
Air pollution has been a major challenge worldwide particularly in the developing world. It has dire implications for human health. Understanding the knowledge and behaviour of the populace is key to the development and implementation of necessary intervention programmes. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of air pollution in the Accra, Ghana. The study employed a cross-sectional design to obtain quantitative data form 1404 respondents, and the results were analysed with SPSS version 23. There were more (54.1%) female respondents than males (45.9%) in the study. The majority (70.5%) of the respondents were aware of the haze (air pollution) and its adverse effects on health. There was however a significant relationship between the sociodemographics and air pollution awareness (). There was also a correlation between residents’ age, educational level, length of stay, marital status, and knowledge/awareness rate of air pollution (). Although the majority of the respondents are aware of air pollution and its relationship to their health, rates of awareness were low in some demographic groups like the elderly and the less educated. Therefore, nondiscriminatory policies should be formed toward the education and guidance of people to become knowledgeable about air pollution and related health challenges. Most of the residents admitted improving air quality is the responsibility of every citizen. The government should utilize this to form collaborative measure with the citizens for a more effective control of air pollution.