African Journal of Health Sciences

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Dietary aflatoxin exposure and impaired growth in young children from Kisumu District, Kenya: Cross sectional study

Scheila Adhiambo Okoth, Mercy Ohingo


Cereal grains are the basis of weaning gruel in Kenya yet they run a high risk of mycotoxin contamination. Children could be at a higher risk of dietary mycotoxin exposure than the rest of the population.. This paper presents information on the association between nutritional state of children and dietary exposure to aflatoxins in Kisumu District. Weaning flour samples were collected randomly from 242 households in Kisumu District, Kenya. A questionnaire was used to collect information, from mothers whose flour were sampled, on the types of weaning foods, handling and storage. The nutritional status of the children in question was assessed and their weight and height measured. The flour samples were analyzed for aflatoxins by thin layer chromatography. Cultural studies of the flour were also done. Thirty one percent of the children were malnourished. The number of children who were wasting and were being fed on flour contaminated with mycotoxins was highly significant (P = 0.002). Seventy samples (29%) were positive for aflatoxins (concentration range 2-82 g/kg), some exceeding the advisory limit.

African Journal of Health Sciences Vol.11(1&2) 2004: 43-54
AJOL African Journals Online