Vol. 6, No. 12, p. 251-261 - Apr. 30, 2019
Public health and hygienic condition of retailers at fish markets in Sylhet Sadar of Bangladesh
Md. Alamgir Hossain , Md. Motaher Hossain , Md. Golam Rasul and Mohammad Abu Jafor Bapary
The hygienic and sanitary conditions of majority of the retail fish markets are very poor and unhealthy that may have an impact on fish retailers. The present study was conducted in two retail fish markets located in Kajirbazar and Bondorbazar, in Sadar Sylhet, to assess the hygiene and sanitary condition of fish retailers. Information was collected through questionnaire interview and participatory rural appraisal (PRA) from the retailers and other value chain stakeholders. It was found that about 82% of fish retailers were permanent in these retail markets. The retailers are mainly involved in selling various species of fishes such as carps, catfishes, tilapia, koi, hilsa, shrimp and other small indigenous fishes. The sources of these fishes are mainly of nearby haors, river and ponds. The retailers get fishes from various suppliers and also collected from producers. The income level of fish retailers is relatively low although they are trying to improve their socio-economic conditions. Besides, about 9% of the retailers do not have any formal education whereas 70% and 21% have their education in primary and secondary level, respectively. Although the majority of the retailers were found literate, however, their knowledge on public health was seemed to be very poor. Due to lack of proper knowledge on public health, they are frequently affected by various diseases such as common cold, diarrhea, lesion, fever, skin disease and so on. Particularly, 48% of the fish retailers are affected by the lesion on hands, and 31% and 27% of retailers have been affected by the lesion between fingers or toes, respectively. About 20% of the retailers do not have adequate knowledge on fish quality or benefit of using ice in fish preservation in retail markets. Considering all together, the present study revealed that the retailers operated fish markets are ill-managed, unhygienic and unsatisfactory. The lack of proper fish preservation facilities, poor water supply and unplanned infrastructures are generally regarded as a noticeable problem in the retail markets. In addition, the lack of retailer&appos;s education, consciousness about fish quality, lack of training on hygienic and sanitary conditions are seemed to be involved in spoiling or deteriorating fish quality before reaching to the consumers. Therefore, the proper education and training on hygienic and sanitary conditions as well as sufficient knowledge on maintaining fish quality is required for retailers involved in fish retailing in the markets. It can be concluded that the improvement of relevant facilities of fish markets and proper supervision by respective authorities can ensure the better public health for retailers and safe fish food for consumers.
Public health; Hygiene; Sanitation; Retailers; Socio-economic conditions.
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