By Kebba Touray
Momodou Njai, current Regional Director of Health Services in Farafennni said at present, 4.5 billion people worldwide are at risk of getting liver cancer. Njai said this on Wednesday January 30th 2019, at the Aflatoxin mitigation training held in Foni Bwiam.
Njai said the negative impacts of Aflatoxin include liver cancer, impairment of the immune system, stunting in children and the possibility of neural tube defects; that Aflatoxin is prone in African dietary staples such as maize, rice, corn, cassava and peanuts.
“The effects of Aflatoxin on human health includes but is not limited to liver, kidney, and spleen enlargement, and fatty liver syndrome. It causes kidney inflammation which can lead to kidney failure, decreases protein and fat digestion and absorption, impairs carbohydrate breakdown, decreases motility and causes diarrhea,” he said. “Acute Aflatoxicosis (cute poisoning), is characterized by an acute hepatotoxic disease that manifests itself with depression, anorexia, jaundice, hemorrhage, oedema of the lower extremities, abdominal pain and vomiting.”
Njai highlighted the elimination of the sources of Aflatoxin, by promoting better agriculture and storage techniques, have good resources for testing and early diagnosis, strictness on food quality standards, general awareness and personal protection, and better livestock feeding and management, as some of the ways of preventing Aflatoxin; that it can be treated through the increase in the levels of protein and vitamins A,D,E,K and B consumption, immediate attention and treatment to secondary infections with Good management practices to alleviate stress and address specific system diseases.
Njai cited that dietary modification and diversity, reduces Aflatoxin exposure and improves overall human nutrition; that education on the sources of Aflatoxin, can alert consumers on the risks involved with recommended health measures to tackle the disease.