Consumption of peri-urban grown vegetables has raised public health concerns due to potential risks of contamination from pathogens, pesticides and heavy metals. Understanding how the public perceives of risk is key in managing the population at risk of consuming contaminated vegetables. However, health risk perceptions research of consumers has largely been given little attention. Using both quantitative and qualitative research techniques, and drawing on risk perception theory, this study examined consumers’ health risk perceptions in relation to urban vegetable consumption in the Oforikrom sub-metropolitan area of the Kumasi Metropolis in Ghana. Results suggest that heath risk perceptions of consumers of urban-grown vegetables is generally low, an indication that consumers’ perceptions have not changed a decade after similar results were reported in Ghana. Consumers’ interpretation of the quality of vegetables and associated health risks deviates from scientific health risk assessments which, does not translate into desired risk mitigation behaviour. Continuous public education on potential health risks of consuming these vegetables and appropriate health risk mitigation measures could be vital in reducing the population at risk.
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Conflict of interest
This research was funded from the researchers’ personal resources and not from any funding agency. Besides, no potential conflict of interest is anticipated
Ethical issues were complied with. As indicated in Section 4.6 of the methodology, participation in the research was voluntary.
Informed written and verbal consents were obtained from all research participants. Individual respondents/participants were requested to sign or thumbprint a written informed consent form. Those who were uncomfortable signing or thumb printing the written consent form were given the option to give verbal consent. Participants were also assured of strict confidentiality of information. Opinion leaders and traditional rulers were briefed on the main purposes of the study and necessary permissions were sought before data collection commenced.
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Abass, K., Ganle, J.K. & Afriyie, K. ‘The germs are not harmful’: health risk perceptions among consumers of peri-urban grown vegetables in Kumasi, Ghana. GeoJournal 82, 1213–1227 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10708-016-9747-6
- Risk perception
- Health risk