Food Hygiene

Survey of food-hygiene practices at home and childhood diarrhoea in Hanoi, Viet Nam

Survey of food-hygiene practices at home and childhood diarrhoea in Hanoi, Viet Nam

Journal of Health Population and NutritionOct, 2009 by Kumiko TakanashiYuko Chonan,Dao To QuyenNguyen Cong KhanKrishna C. PoudelMasamine Jimba

INTRODUCTION

The prevention of diarrhoea remains one of the major public-health problems in developing countries. Approximately 1.5 billion episodes of diarrhoea are reported every year in developing countries, and this figure has remained more or less constant over the last 20 years (1). An estimated 2.5 million people die due to diarrhoea each year, and the majority are children aged less than five years in developing countries (2).

The prevalence of diarrhoea among children aged less than five years is also a concern in Viet Nam. Diarrhoea morbidity among this age-group in Viet Nam was 11.3% in 2000 (3). The estimated annual number of children who died due to diarrhoea was 7,900 (4). Furthermore, diarrhoea can cause malnutrition, leading to impaired physical growth and cognitive development (5,6). Therefore, prevention of diarrhoea is as important as its treatment.

Inadequate food hygiene is considered to be one of the major contributors to diarrhoea. Up to 70% of diarrhoea episodes in developing countries are regarded as food-borne (7-9). Weaning food given to children in West Africa (10-11), Bangladesh (12), and Peru (13) contains substantial amounts of bacteria.

The level of food contamination is related to the storage of foods at high ambient temperature (12), for long periods of time (10,11,14), and in the rainy season (10,15). Unclean utensils were also considered a source of food contamination (9,16,17).

Furthermore, previous studies have shown that several food-hygiene factors are associated with diarrhoea among children. For example, results of a prospective cohort study in Turkey showed that infants whose houses did not have a kitchen were more likely to suffer from diarrhoea (18). Similarly, children in Nigeria who lived in households with a private kitchen had lower incidence rates of diarrhoea than those whose households had no such kitchens (19). Results of a case-control study in Brazil showed that owners of refrigerators were more likely to have a lower rate of diarrhoea among children (20). The hand-washing practice of mothers before food preparation was also associated with a lower risk of diarrhoea among children (21-23). The prevalence of diarrhoea among children was significantly higher in families where mothers less often washed their hands before feeding children in a case-control study in Viet Nam (24). For children’s practices, eating food that had been placed on the floor was significantly associated with persistent diarrhoea in a case-control study in Myanmar (25). The cleanliness of kitchen-floor was significantly associated with the prevalence of diarrhoea among children in Nicaragua (21).

 

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Written by geraldmoy

February 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm