Agricultural health in the Gambia II: a systematic survey of safety and injuries in production agriculture
This study was undertaken to provide baseline information on the injuries and health and safety conditions in Gambian agriculture. The objective was to produce information to guide the formulation of an agricultural health and safety policy for the country, future investigations, prevention and surveillance of the adverse health effects in agriculture. A cross-sectional survey of 20 farmers, 20 nurses, and 20 agricultural extension workers was conducted in the Central and Upper River Divisions of The Gambia. The survey was implemented by the means of questionnaires, walk-through survey and hazard checklist. Seventy percent of farms reported an injury during the past year. Major sources and contributing factors for the injuries were characterized. Predisposing factors to the injuries were climatic conditions, working in static positions, bending and twisting and carrying heavy objects. Cuts and lacerations were identified as the commonest injury types and the most common sources were hand tools (hand hoe, cutlass, axe and knife) and animal-powered carts. A workshop for the major stake holders in the country’s agriculture was also held to identify problems and possible solutions for health promotion of Gambian farmers.
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