IMPLICATIONS OF PATRONIZING FOOD VENDORS IN ABUJA MODEL STUDY CENTRE
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Food vendors are the people popularly known as street foods sellers, ready-to eat-foods, some already prepared beverages, such as doughnuts, cooked rice and beans, Youghurt, Zobo etc. They hawk their foods especially in streets and other similar public places.
Ekanem E.O. The street food trade in Africa safety and socio –environmental issues food control) (2001) streamline that street food vending has become an important public health issue and a great concern to everybody. This is due to widespread food borne diseases, due to the mushrooming of way side food vendors who lack an adequate understanding of the basic food safety issues.
Bhowmiksk (2005) confirmed that with the grip of sudden and unprecedented urban growth and increase in the size of the labour force, the demand for non-traditional services has gained momentum. The street food trade has shed its disorganized, lower class linage and is becoming a viable, important informal sector industry, Bryan F.L (1988) placed Nigeria 100th position of 130 countries that has the street foods safety risks hazard in an uncontrollable measures. Street vended foods are not only appreciated for their unique flavours, convenience and the role which they play in the cultural and social heritage of societies, they have also become important and essential for maintaining the nutritional status of the populations. Besides offering business opportunities for developing entrepreneurs, the sale of street foods can make a sizeable contribution to the economics of developing countries. In Nigeria, for example the national policy for urban street vendors/hawkers stated that street vendors constitute approximately 15% of the population of a metropolis.
Thus, research therefore sought to provide data on root causes of epidemic diseases in the society especially with regards to poor health in some students in the Abuja Model Study Centre National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). Public Health issues are currently the main focus of discussion and research all over the world especially with regards to street food vendors. The question of street food vendors is a matter of grave concern especially among the students who are prey to this public health hazard. Umoh VJ, Odoba MB. (1999) confirmed that street foods are perceived to be a major public health risk due to lack of basic infrastructures and services, difficultly in controlling the large numbers of street food vending of operation because of their diversity, mobility and temporary nature. A general lack of factual knowledge of street vendors in basic food safety measures and inadequate public awareness of hazards posed by certain foods has severely hampered the development of a precise scientific approach to this very serious issue of public health and safety research evidence has shown that quantitative skill are required in public health sector to checkmate this ugly menace in our public institutions and society in general.
WHO (1989) Health Surveillance and Management procedures for food handling personnel opined that general public should be cautions to be able to access some of the food they consume in public domain, for some of these foods risks hazard to the health. Consequently, students who are victims of these food vendors should always take pre-cautionary measures to be aware of the danger involves in taking any food that is not hygienically prepared.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Every problem on this earth has solution, so, every health question has health answer. Problems in public health sector required health research.
Buchanan RL. (1998) pointed out that the first step in conducting health research is to first identify the problem to the study and solve it. Adesiyun A.A (2003) reminded that a health problem could arise reminded that a health problem could arise as a result of some certain abnormalities, inadequacies or weaknesses of some kind.
Akinyele I.O (1987) discovered that some high institutions and tertiary schools students do not take proper or wash their hands after the use of toilets. Some do not know their health or body health history before taken any injurious food in their body, therefore create health problem in their body.
Many students do not undergo regular medical check up. Some schools health departments do not proffer the use of sanitizers/disinfectants in the school environment for student’s use.
Example, was the case of “Ebola” many people took pre-cautionary measures to the menace of the deadly disease Ebola.
There should be thermometer to check food temperature. Every public school should employ the professionals to train and organize these food vendors, and also monitor their cooking environment and kitchen utensils. Furthermore, establishments should train staff regularly on basic personal hygienic techniques, self care and good house-keeping practices.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of the study is to investigate and assess the causes of eating bad or contaminated foods in our public domain especially in the public schools institution like Abuja Model Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
This study seeks to:
1. To explain who are food vendors and what they do
2. To assess the capability of the food vendors knowledge on cooking
3. To assess the cleanliness of the environment and of the food vendors
4. To check the kind of food sold by vendors to students of Abuja Model Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
5. To collect opinion of students towards food vendors in Abuja Model Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria. (NOUN).
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions are formulated to guide the study
1. What are the causes of students eating contaminated foods in Abuja Model Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)?
2. What are the roles of food vendors in Abuja Model Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
3. What are the implications of patronizing food vendors in Abuja Model Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)
4. What are the assessment on the food hygiene practices of food handlers in the Abuja Model Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)
5. What are the recommendations for improved food safety measures within food establishments?
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research is mainly concerned with an investigation and the causes of students eating contaminated foods in Abuja Model Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
However, due to financial problems and time constraint the selected schools are only four out of the total number of tertiary institutions in Abuja Federal Capital Territory.
The selected schools are:
1. National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Abuja Model Study Centre
2. University of Abuja in Federal Capital Territory
3. College of Education Zuba in Federal Capital Territory
4. National Teachers Institute (NTI) Gwarinpa Study Centre
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is hoped that the result of this research will be a immense value to the students, the lecturers, the school administrators, government and also the curriculum planners.
To the lecturers, it is believed that the study will enable lecturers to learn all basic skills and available resource used to teach public health study – this also will improved and enhance lecturers and health education authorities competency in the area of teaching public health studies.
To the students, it will change the students attitude towards teaching of public health studies in anticipation such that they can no longer see public health awareness or study as a course or subject they can pass with little or no effort but rather as an important course which they need to learn and understand very well.
To the school administrators, it will enable them give necessary supports, encouragement and motivation to public health lecturers and students of food nutritionists to acquire the right attitude towards the public health knowledge.
Furthermore, this study will enable public health educational researchers, lecturers, school administrators and proprietors to know the external trends of students performance in public health learning.
In addition, this piece of work will be of useful to the researchers who are interested in student’s performance in researching on public health study this will go a long way to help the school administrators, teachers, parents, counselors and particularly the government in improving public health by implementing the recommendations provided in this research work.
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
Causes: Something that gives rise to an action, phenomenon or condition.
Implications: An implying or that which is implied, but not expressed, an inference or something which may fairly be understood, though not expressed in words.
Patronizing: To make oneself a regular customer of a business.
Food vendors: A person or a company that vendor sells food.