Hygiene practices and awareness regarding Milk borne diseases (MBD) among dairy workers in unorganized urban settings of Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
Keywords:Dairy household, Dairy worker, Hygiene, Milk borne disease
Background: Dairy work is thought to be predominantly a rural occupation. However, due to preferences we see a lot of urban residents consume fresh milk and hence, few people even in the urban areas take up cattle rearing as a cost effective profession. In the midst of much talked re-emerging diseases, caused by close habitation of animals and man, it would be very relevant to see living conditions of these populations and their hygiene practices in a space compromised scenario. In urban settings, they stay in close proximity and due to socioeconomic conditions, dairy workers in do not have appropriate amenities to tend on the cattle,clean or even scope for proper waste disposal. This in nutshell, leads to a disease enabling environment and the study aims at reviewing these living conditions. Besides, an assessment of health conditions of the dairy workers, their awareness regarding the milk borne diseases(MBD) was done. The findings helped generate recommendations for improvement of the profession and ultimately the quality of the milk. Objectives:1) Assess the hygiene practices during the stages of milk collection, storage and transport of milk among the sampled dairy workers from urban unorganized settings of Bhubaneswar. 2) Assess awareness of these workers regarding milk borne diseases. Methodology: This cross?sectional survey was part of a larger study and was conducted in unorganized sector of dairy workers in Bhubaneswar. 60 dairy households were surveyed and from each household, 2 members actively involved in dairy work were selected.The study tool was a semi structured, mixed questionnaire. The questionnaire had 3 sections; A was regarding household information(General sociodemographic details and Housing conditions for 60 HHs); B was to elicit the hygiene status of dairy workers(n=120) during each step of their work, their milk handling details during milk collection, storage and transportation; C had questions to assess the awareness of dairy worker regarding MBD. Results: Hygiene practices were very dismal at all points like milking,storage and transportation. Only 5.0% dairy households practised cleaning udder twice- prior to and after milking. Only 35% households kept the milk storage containers covered. 44.2% workers agreed that “MBD” is a community health problem. On general examination, pallor and icterus was found among workers. This strongly brings out that this group not only have the potential to be infected by zoonotic diseases, but can also transmit it to through the milk they are selling. A felt need is assessed for these workers in terms of creating standards of hygiene practices of cattle and milk handling and also impart them training on improving their occupational practices.
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