Om Prasad Gautam
Om joined LSHTM in 2012 to commence his SHARE-funded PhD on food hygiene. A public health professional with over ten years experience in the child health and WASH sectors, he also holds a Masters in Public Health and Social Sciences. Prior to joining LSHTM, Om worked in various international organisations including WaterAid, the World Health Organization and the Programme for Immunisation of Preventable Diseases.
Food Hygiene Intervention to Improve Food Hygiene Behaviours, Reduce Food Contamination and Diarrhoeal Diseases Burden in Nepal
Food-borne diseases are easily preventable but still are a major source of illness in developed and developing countries. A simple and easily replicable food hygiene intervention therefore has great potential, especially when it can be implemented by the WASH, health and nutrition sectors. In this context, a study was conducted with a primary aim of developing and assessing the effect of a simple and easily replicable food hygiene intervention focusing on mothers. The study consisted of two phases: formative research into food hygiene practices, and the developemnt and assessment (via a randomised controlled trial) of a food hygiene intervention.
The objectives of the study were:
- To document current food hygiene behaviours, and its environmental and psychological determinants among mothers
- To assess levels of microbiological contamination in food fed to young children (6-59 months)
- To identify the critical control points of food contamination
- To design, test and introduce a simple, focused and replicable food hygiene intervention targeting mothers with a young child
- To measure compliance with and effect of the intervention on food hygiene behaviour/practices as a primary outcomes
- To measure the effect of food hygiene intervention on the levels of microbiological contamination in food and diarrhoeal diseases burden as a secondary outcome