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Free Content Diarrhoea, vomiting and the role of milk consumption: perceived and identified risk in Bamako (Mali)

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Summary Objectives 

To evaluate the public health impact of milk contamination in Bamako, Mali. Methods 

A case–control study assessed the risk-factors for food-borne toxi-infections with diarrhoea and vomiting as main clinical picture. A total of 131 schoolchildren between 5 and 20 years of age were interviewed by trained interviewers in schools in Bamako. A structured questionnaire was used to record health problems, food and particularly milk consumption habits and socio-economic indicators. Results 

Final multivariate logistic regression analysis identified regular consumption of boiled milk [odds ratio(OR) = 4.38; 95% CI = 1.15–16.71], age between 5 and 10 years (OR vs. age group 11–15 years = 3.28; 95% CI = 1.09–9.85) and the existence of dry latrines in the household (OR = 7.65; 95% CI = 1.92–30.55) as risk factors for diarrhoea and vomiting. Other milk products and the socio-economic level of the household were not significantly associated with the outcome. Many people were unaware of the potential risks of milk consumption. Conclusions 

Milk products may be a risk factor for food-borne toxi-infections. Attention has to be paid to products considered ‘safe’, such as boiled or pasteurized milk. The low awareness of potential risks of many people may increase the risk of milk consumption. To achieve a sustainable increase in local milk production in Africa, milk quantity and production and transformation quality should be improved simultaneously.

Keywords: Mali; Sahel; diarrhoea; food hygiene; milk; public health

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland 2: Institute of Food Science, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland 3: Clinique ‘Dr Yamadou Sidibé’, Bamako, Mali 4: Laboratoire Central Vétérinaire, Bamako, Mali 5: Institut du Sahel, Bamako, Mali

Publication date: 2004-10-01

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