Changing attitudes, preventing mold: A Spatial Analysis of Aflatoxin-related Food Safety Practices and Behaviors Contextualized by Contributing Environmental Factors in Malawi

Authors: William Caleb Parker*, FHI 360, Gretchen Thompson, FHI 360, Rachel Lenzi, FHI 360
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Environment, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Malawi, environment, spatial analysis, agriculture
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Oakley, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

We analyze the convergence of food safety knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) in light of contributing environmental factors that worsen the risk of aflatoxin exposure and consumption throughout Malawi. Using data collected by 1,000 mobile surveys in Malawi during July 2017, we analyzed data on KAP related to the production, storage, and preparation of foods commonly infected with aflatoxin and other toxic molds (e.g., maize, groundnuts, cassava), scoring households by degree of vulnerability to aflatoxin. We created a spatial comparison of vulnerability status to environmental conditions where growth and spread of toxic molds, including aflatoxins, were most likely. Our analysis indicates areas where both KAP and environmental factors converge to compound the potential for aflatoxin exposure and consumption. These data will be used to enable program leaders to target implementation efforts in areas where known food safety behaviors are most problematic. This will further inform the SBCC campaign in Malawi, Healthcare for Life, funded by USAID.

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