Fish and fish products bear potential hazards and risks of public health concern. A preliminary study of hazards, injuries and risks among fisherfolk in Tombo, Sierra Leone, West Africa was carried out on November 2018. Sixty subjects from among the organized fish processor groups were interviewed with semi-structured questionnaire. Results obtained from the study were analyzed with Microsoft Excel and presented in tables and charts. The results of the study indicated that females (56.7%) were more involved in fish processing than males (41.7%); and the active age of these processors fell in the age range of 35-45 years. Married people (71.7%), dominated singles, widowed and divorced put together. Dominant religion in the study area was Islam and Christianity. Smoking (hot and cold), frying, packing, icing, filleting, seasoning or the combination of two or more according to the subjects was the prevailing processing methods used by processors in Tombo. Inherent hazards, injuries and risks reported by the respondents included high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, nervous tension, insomnia, skin disease, bronchitis or asthma, muscular problems or those of the joint, long-term neck and back pains, eye problem, typhoid, malaria, and hearing problem caused by environmental noise. To mitigate the hazard and risks associated with fish processing in Tombo, training on appropriate fish handling and processing techniques; the provision of appropriate handling and processing equipment by responsible stakeholders were considered according to the subjects rational options.
Key words: Occupation, hazards, injuries, risks, fish processors, Tombo, Sierra Leone.
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