Original Research

Food-borne disease prevalence in rural villages in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

Khanya Z. Bisholo, Shanaz Ghuman, Firoza Haffejee
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 10, No 1 | a1796 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v10i1.1796 | © 2018 Khanya Zukolwakhe Bisholo, Shanaz Ghuman, Firoza Haffejee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 March 2018 | Published: 27 September 2018

About the author(s)

Khanya Z. Bisholo, Department of Community Health Studies, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Shanaz Ghuman, Department of Community Health Studies, Durban University of Technology, South Africa
Firoza Haffejee, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Durban University of Technology, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The highest burden of food-borne diseases is in Africa. Despite this, food safety does not seem to be a major concern in many African countries. There is also a lack of concern within rural areas of South Africa.

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of food-borne diseases in rural areas in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, by comparing data obtained from a cross-sectional survey and clinic records.

Setting: The study was conducted in Ncera, Mpongo and Needscamp villages in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Methods: In the first phase of the study, a random sample of household heads (n = 87) were interviewed to determine the prevalence of food-borne diseases between 2012 and 2014. In the second phase, registers from clinics serving the villages were screened for food-borne disease cases during the same time period.

Results: A total of 109 (27.3%) household members fell ill because of food-borne diseases. Half (n = 56; 51.3%) of the respondents who fell ill because of food-borne diseases did not seek medical treatment for their illness. Of those who sought treatment, 19 (46%) attended primary health care clinics. However, examination of the clinic registers showed only four recorded cases of food-borne diseases.

Conclusion: The prevalence of food-borne diseases in rural villages in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, was reported as high but the records in clinic registers are low, indicating a gap in the health care system. Monitoring of these diseases needs to improve.


Keywords

food-borne diseases; rural settlements; South Africa; monitoring; community health

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