Household food insecurity and food safety knowledge, attitude, and practice of mothers with outpatient under-five children at Cure Hospital, Addis Ababa


  • Hiwot Disassa
  • Mogessie Ashenafi


Food insecurity experience; food safety; knowledge; attitude; practice


Foodborne illnesses result in life-threatening conditions among vulnerable members of households. Proper knowledge, attitude and practices in food safety issues are important to curb the damage caused by these illnesses at household level. This study examined the food insecurity experiences and food safety knowledge, attitude, and practice (kap) of mothers having outpatient children in Cure Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A sample size of 210 randomly selected mothers was considered for this study. A cross-sectional study was carried out using semi-structured questionnaire to collect data on food insecurity experiences and food safety knowledge, attitude and practice of respondents. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Most respondents were married (68%), had primary or secondary level education (62%), had one or two under-five children (71%), and 52% had monthly income between etb 500 and 2500. Between 70% and 80% of the respondents experienced anxiety or uncertainty of not having enough food for household members or reduced quality or quantity of food they ate in the previous thirty days. Around 58% experienced hunger during the same period. The knowledge of mothers in food safety (food handling, personal hygiene and water sanitation) was generally poor (<60%). The level of positive attitudes of mothers towards food safety was also poor (<60%). Appropriate practices, particularly in food handling and personal hygiene were also very poor. As foodborne illnesses can be fatal to vulnerable members of a household, a thorough training to mothers in food safety issues is recommended.