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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-83

Personal and food hygiene practices among street-food vendors in Sabon-Gari local government area of Kaduna State, Nigeria


1 Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, Bayero University Kano, Kano, Nigeria

Date of Web Publication19-Mar-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ahmad Ayuba Umar
Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/archms.archms_44_17

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  Abstract 

Background: Street-food vendors play an important role in the etiology of foodborne disease outbreaks. Foodborne disease pathogens may be transferred by street-food vendors to food either directly or by cross contamination. Deeply concerned by this, the 53rd World Health Assembly in May, 2000 adopted a resolution calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) and its member states to recognize food safety as an essential public health function. The resolution also called on WHO to develop a global strategy for reducing the burden of foodborne diseases. This study, therefore, was aimed at assessing the personal and food hygiene among street-food vendors in Sabon Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 109 adults food vendors that sell cooked food or food items by the roadside or open spaces in the streets of Sabon Gari local government area (LGA) using multistage sampling technique. Observation checklist and a pretested interviewer-administered questionnaire with closed-ended questions were used for data collection. The obtained data were entered into a computer, cleaned and analyzed using IBM SPSS statistics version 20. Univariate and Bivariate analyses were conducted among the variables. Associations between categorical variables were tested for significance using Chi-square or Fischer's exact test. Statistical significance was said to be achieved where P ≤ 0.05. Results: Most of the street-food vendors were within the age group 35–44 years (40.4%), while 49.5% of the people who patronized them were passers-by. Half (50.5%) of the street-food vendors normally operate under a shade to sell food to customers. All of them did not receive any formal training on personal and food hygiene. Half (50.4%) of the respondents and 48.6% of them had poor practices of personal and food hygiene, respectively. However, 67.0% of the street-food vendors had a fair environmental sanitation status around their vending sites. Conclusion: The study found that none of the street-food vendors had ever received any form of formal training on personal and food hygiene. Many of them have poor personal and food hygiene practices; however, a significant proportion of them have a fairly good environmental sanitation status around their vending sites. Formal training on personal and food hygiene should be conducted among all street-food vendors in the LGA to improve on their personal and food hygienic practices for the vending of safe food to their consumers.

Keywords: Food hygiene, personal hygiene, sabon-gari, street-food vendors


How to cite this article:
Umar AA, Sambo MN, Sabitu K, Iliyasu Z, Sufiyan MB, Hamza KL. Personal and food hygiene practices among street-food vendors in Sabon-Gari local government area of Kaduna State, Nigeria. Arch Med Surg 2018;3:77-83

How to cite this URL:
Umar AA, Sambo MN, Sabitu K, Iliyasu Z, Sufiyan MB, Hamza KL. Personal and food hygiene practices among street-food vendors in Sabon-Gari local government area of Kaduna State, Nigeria. Arch Med Surg [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Aug 25];3:77-83. Available from: http://www.archms.org/text.asp?2018/3/2/77/254577


  Introduction Top


The availability of safe food is a basic human right that subsequently improves the health of people when consumed. People are becoming increasingly concerned about the health risks posed by microbial pathogens and potentially hazardous chemicals in food especially those that may enter food during preparation or when serving.[1] The trends in global food production, processing, distribution, and preparation present new challenges to food safety. Food grown in one country can now be transported and consumed halfway across the world. People demand a wider variety of foods than in the past; they want those that are not in season and often eating away from home. These situations lead to creation of conditions necessary for widespread outbreaks of foodborne illness. Food and waterborne diarrheal diseases are leading causes of illness and death in less developed countries, killing an estimated 2.2 million people annually, most of whom are children. Foodborne diseases do not only significantly affect people's health and well-being, but they also have economic consequences for individuals, families, communities, businesses, and countries. These diseases impose a substantial burden on health-care systems and markedly reduce economic productivity. Diarrhea is the most common symptom of foodborne illness; however, other serious consequences include kidney and liver failure, brain and neural disorders, and death.[1]

Deeply concerned by this, the Fifty-third World Health Assembly (WHA) in May, 2000 adopted a resolution calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Member States to recognize food safety as an essential public health function.[2],[3] The resolution also called on WHO to develop a Global Strategy for reducing the burden of foodborne disease. Prevention and control of foodborne diseases were declared to be a public health priority by the WHA in 2000.[3] Although estimates of illnesses, hospitalizations, deaths, and outbreaks related to foodborne diseases are available for developed countries, lack of effective surveillance systems hampers availability of similar estimates for developing countries.[4],[5] However, considering that there may be a different set of pathogens in developing countries and a variation in food preferences and food production practices, these estimates may be higher in developing countries. Worldwide, there were a total of 816 foodborne disease outbreaks, with 80,682 cases, from 1927 to the first quarter of 2006, in which food handlers were implicated in the spread of such diseases.[4] A growing incidence of foodborne diseases already affects between 5%–10% of the population each year in industrialized countries.[2]

The predominant means of contracting foodborne diseases is through consumption of street food which is common in many countries where unemployment is high, salaries are low, work opportunities, and social programs are limited, and where urbanization is taking place. A study shows that food hawking is a common activity in Nigeria with very high patronage from low-income earners and traders.[6] Street-food vendors' benefit from positive cash flow, often evade taxation and can determine their own working hours. They provide an essential service to workers, shoppers, travelers and people on low incomes by selling snacks, complete meals, and refreshments at relatively low prices. People who depend on such food are often more interested in its convenience than in questions of its safety, quality, and hygiene. Foodborne disease pathogens may be transferred by street-food vendors to food either directly or by cross contamination. In addition, there are many other ways in which food becomes contaminated and causes illness. Cultural practices such as the consumption of raw or undercooked foods play a major role in the spread of parasitic diseases. Poor standards of hygiene during food preparation and the lack of training in food safety are probably the most common causes of foodborne illness. Many people are unaware that a number of raw foods contain pathogens which can cause illness when they are not thoroughly cooked or handled properly in the kitchen. Chemical contaminants can also cause a variety of acute and chronic diseases in humans.[7] Cancer, neurological diseases, and developmental deficiencies are some of the more serious adverse health effects posed by chemicals. To assess the potential health risks of chemicals, risk assessment methods have been developed to predict possible harm to the human population and to provide guidance on safe levels in food.

There are many organizations that are involved in promoting and preserving personal and food hygiene such as WHO, Food and Agriculture Organization, Codex Alimentarius Commission, International Food Safety Authorities Network and United Nations Children's Fund. A number of interventions were made to improve personal and food hygiene among street-food vendors; these included Global Foodborne Infections Network, Global Environmental Monitoring System, Foodborne Disease Epidemiology Reference Group, and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point system. In Nigeria Department of Environmental Health Sanitation of Ministry of Environment, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and Standard Organization of Nigeria are the organizations involved in ensuring food safety. Despite presence of their offices in virtually all states of the federation, street-food vendors continue to proliferate and posing as threat to their prospective consumers that are likely to purchase unsafe food from them.

Hence, this study was aimed at assessing the personal and food hygiene practices among street-food vendors in Sabon Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.


  Materials and Methods Top


Study area

Sabon Gari Local Government Area is one of the 23 local government areas (LGAs) of Kaduna state, located in the Northern Senatorial Zone. It has a boundary with Ikara, Makarfi, Giwa, Zaria and Soba Local Government in the North, Northwest, West, South, and East, respectively. It covers a land area of about 60,000 km2 and has a projected population of 322,874 (2006 census). It has 11 wards, namely, Anguwan-Gabas, Basawa, Bomo, Chikaji, Dogarawa, Hanwa, Jama'a, Jushi, Muciya, Samaru, and Zabi. The LGA comprises of a heterogeneous mix of tribes with a preponderance of Hausa and Fulani ethnic groups amidst Yoruba, Igbo, Gbagyi, and other ethnic groups. The predominant occupations of the people are farming, trading, and public service. Islam and Christianity are the main religions practiced by inhabitants of the LGA.[8]

A total of 58 health facilities spread over 11 political wards and six districts are overseen by 332 staff of Primary Health Care (PHC) Department in the LGA. Of these health facilities, 33 are government owned while 25 are privately owned. The PHC Department has various units among which is the Disease Control Unit that has three divisions; water, sanitation, and food hygiene. There are many street-food vendors hawking different kinds of foods and food materials in almost all the streets of the LGA. However, there are no records of their number and or activities in the PHC Department of the LGA. Although there are 23 registered food establishments (restaurants) in the LGA and staff of Disease Control Unit usually carry out routine inspection of these establishments on quarterly basis, additional inspection may be carried out whenever disease outbreaks such as cholera occur.[8]

Study design and study population

The study design was a cross-sectional descriptive conducted among 109 adults street-food vendors that sell cooked food or food items (food materials that are eaten raw) on designated area by the roadside or open space in the LGA. All street-food vendors who were mobile (Ambulatory) and those operating in restaurants and other established food businesses were excluded.

Sample size determination

The sample size was determined using the following formula;



Where,

n = minimum sample size

Z = Z score corresponding to 95% level of significance i.e., 1.96

P = estimated level of knowledge of food hygiene from a previous study = 8%.[6]

q = complementary probability of P = 1 − p

d = degree of precision required = 5%





n = 113

The total population is <10,000; hence, the sample size was adjusted using the following formula;



nf = desired minimum sample size when total population is <10,000

N = estimated total population

Therefore,



Adding nonresponse rate of 10% =104 + 10.4 = 114

Therefore, the sample size is 114.

Sampling technique

Multistage sampling technique was used in selecting the study respondents. The following stages were followed:

  • Stage 1 (selection of study LGA): selection of the study LGA was done using simple random sampling by balloting from the list of all LGAs
  • Stage 2 (Selection of wards): a list of all the political wards in the selected LGA was drawn. Then, using simple random sampling by balloting also, two political wards were selected
  • Stage 3 (Selection of settlements): four settlements were randomly selected from the list of all settlements in each of the selected ward using balloting method
  • Stage 4 (Selection of streets): five streets to be used were randomly selected using balloting from each selected settlement
  • Stage 5 (Selection of street-food vendors): based on sampling frame of street-food vendors in each selected street, using balloting method, the street-food vendors to be studied were randomly selected based on proportionate allocation until the required sample was obtained


Study instruments and data collection methods

Data were collected using pretested, structured, interviewer-administered questionnaire with closed-ended questions. Before data collection, five research assistants (Residents Doctors of Community Medicine Department) were trained for 2 days on the tools and data collection techniques to be used. The questionnaire was pretested in a different LGA from the study LGA, and some adjustments were made based on feedback from the field. The street-food vendors were interviewed in a convenient place near the sites or location of their businesses by the researcher and research assistants. Data were collected on their sociodemographic characteristics, knowledge, and various aspects of personal and food hygiene practices. An Observation Checklist was also used to collect data on personal hygiene, food hygiene and hygiene of the vending site. Limited (inspection only) physical examination of the street-food vendors was conducted and observation using a checklist on the general surroundings, cooking utensils, plates and manner of serving food. However, samples such as that of stool and urine were not collected.

Statistical analyses

The data obtained were entered into a personal computer, cleaned and coded where necessary. Analysis was carried out using IBM SPSS version 20 (IBM Corp., Armonk, New York, USA).[9] Univariate analysis was done to describe and summarize the data using summary statistics such as mean and standard deviation. Percentages and proportions were calculated for each quantitative variable. Bivariate analysis using cross-tabulations to test associations between categorical variables were conducted using Chi-square or Fischer's exact test. Statistical significance was said to be achieved where P ≤ 0.05. Results of the analyses were presented in tables, charts, and graphs as appropriate.

Ethical considerations

Ethical clearance for the study was obtained from the Ethical and Scientific Committee of Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Zaria. Permission was obtained from PHC Departments of Sabon Gari LGA, and a written informed consent was obtained from every respondent before data collection. The confidentiality of their identity and the information given was assured. All other provisions of the Helsinki declaration were duly observed throughout the study.


  Results Top


A total of 109 out of 114 respondents were interviewed and observed using the study instruments to assess their knowledge and practice of personal and food hygiene including their vending sites, giving a response rate of 95.6%. The results obtained were as follows; most of the street-food vendors were within the age group 35–44 years (40.4%), 68.8% being females, and 69.7% are married. Many (35.8%) of the street-food vendors did not attend more than primary level of education and only 12.8% of them operate permanent or stationary street-food vending premise. About half (49.5%) of the people who patronized them were passers-by and operating under a shade (50.5%). All (100.0%) the street-food vendors studied have not received any formal training on personal and food hygiene [Table 1]. Majority 58 (53.2%) of the street-food vendors have inadequate knowledge of food and personal hygiene [Table 2] while 53 (48.6%) of them were observed to have poor food hygiene practice [Table 3]. Half of the street-food vendors 55 (50.4%) have poor personal hygiene practice and only 9 (8.3%) of them were observed to have good personal hygiene practice [Table 4]. Regarding the vending site, majority of the vendors 73 (67.0%) had fair while 27 (24.8%) had good environmental sanitation status, respectively [Table 5]. Most 106 (97.2%) of the food vending sites were observed to have a space where customers can sit and eat their food. However, 103 (94.5%) of these sites have chairs and benches where customers can and eat while 100 (91.7%) have separate cooking area from the serving area [Figure 1].
Table 1: Sociodemographic characteristics of street-food vendors in Sabon Gari Local Government Area (n=109)

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Table 2: Knowledge of food and personal hygiene among street-food vendors in the study local government area

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Table 3: Food hygiene practice among street-food vendors in the study local government area

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Table 4: Personal hygiene among street-food vendors in the study local government area

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Table 5: Environmental sanitation status of food vending sites in the study local government area

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Figure 1: Features of vending sites for the street-food vendors in the study area

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  Discussions Top


Sociodemographic characteristics of street-food vendors in Sabon Gari LGA showed that majority of them were aged <40 years. This finding is similar to studies conducted in Ghana and India where it was found that the majority of street-food vendors were aged less than 40 years (70.0%) and (60.3%), respectively.[10],[11] In this study, most of the respondents were female and is similar to the Ghana study where all (100%) the street-food vendors were female, but contrast the India study where majority (97.4%) of the vendors were male.[10],[11] Tomlins reported that in several African countries, street food vendors are frequently women in 70%–90% of cases.[12]

Most of the respondents in this study were married and have received formal education up to secondary level. Over half (57.8%) of them had spent more than 5 years in the profession. This is also similar to the studies conducted in Ghana and India where 59.7% and 80.1% had received formal education respectively, and 69.5% had spent more than 5 years in the profession.[10],[11] However, Jacob reported from UK that street-food vendors are often poor and uneducated and lack appreciation for safe food handling.[13]

About half (49.5%) of the people that patronized the street-food vendors in the study area were passers-by. Equally, half of the respondents operate their business under a shade in the area. However, a study in Ghana showed that 94.9% of the customers were workers and majority of the vending sites were the open-air type.[10] WHO has recognized that there are differences in the places where street foods are prepared and can be broadly grouped as follows; food prepared in small-scale food factories or traditional workshops, food prepared in the home, food prepared in markets, and food prepared on the street. These categories reflect a growing difficulty to provide adequate infrastructure and environmental hygiene to ensure the safe production of food.[14],[15] All (100.0%) the street-food vendors studied have not received any formal training on personal and food hygiene. This is contrary to what was reported in a study conducted in Darlington as 21.9% has formal training, 10.7% no formal training and the remaining food handlers has combination of formal and informal training.[16] It is important to remember that knowledge may be markedly influenced by other factors other than formal training, experience, common sense, and a positive attitude toward hygiene may all be important in some cases.[17]

Most (53.2%) of the street-food vendors have inadequate knowledge of food and personal hygiene while about one-third (46.8%) of them have adequate knowledge. This is higher than level of knowledge (30.8%) among respondents in Ghana, but slightly lower than level of knowledge (57.0%) found among street food vendors in India.[10],[11] Mahon et al. in Guatemala found that street-food vendors “demonstrated good knowledge of food safety but unsafe practices” and work in the Philippines identified a significant gap between knowledge and practice that was primarily attributed to the tendency of vendors to compromise food safety for financial reasons.[18]

About 4 in 10 street-food vendors were observed to have good food hygiene practice in the study area. Street foods are generally prepared and sold under unhygienic conditions, with limited access to safe water, sanitary services, or garbage disposal facilities. Hence, street foods pose a high risk of food poisoning due to microbial contamination, as well as improper use of food additives, adulteration, and environmental contamination.[19] Personal cleanliness covers washing and drying hands on a regular basis, not wearing jewelry or false nails that could contaminate foodstuff, and dressing wounds appropriately. Smoking, spitting, eating, and drinking are prohibited in food preparation areas. Food handlers are under a general obligation to keep fingernails short and clean, behave in a manner that will not spread microbes', for example, by licking fingers, biting nails or touching the nose, etc., Protective clothing protects food from the street-food vendor and must be won in areas where open high-risk food is being handled. It can be a source of bacterial contamination and should, therefore, be kept clean always. However, clothes can be a source of physical contamination by shedding fibers and because of removal of buttons and other fasteners.[20],[21] Food vendors can be a source of food contamination and facilitators of cross-contamination. Personal Hygiene of food vendors is, therefore, extremely important in the prevention of food poisoning, which is principally associated with cleanliness of the hands.[22]

There was good environmental sanitation observed at food vending site in about a quarter (24.8%) of the street-food vendors. Several factors are known to favor the occurrence of foodborne diseases during food handling processes which includes poor personal and environmental hygiene and improper food storage.[23] Most (97.2%) food vending sites in the study area were observed to have a space where customers can sit and eat their food. Out of these sites, majority have chairs and benches where customers can sit and eat. In addition, most of the sites have separate cooking area from the food serving area. Food contamination can occur at any point during its journey of production, processing, distribution, and preparation bringing to bear the importance of hygiene and sanitary condition of food premises as a vital public health tool in preventing occurrence and spread of foodborne diseases.[24],[25],[26] Poor environmental sanitation and disregard for hygienic measures on the part of street food vendors are some key factors in the transmission of foodborne diseases.[27]


  Conclusion Top


This study found that none of the street-food vendors had ever received any form of formal training on personal and food hygiene. Many of them have poor personal and food hygiene practices; however, a significant proportion of them have a fairly good environmental sanitation status around their vending sites. Formal training on personal and food hygiene should be conducted among all street-food vendors in the LGA to improve on their personal and food hygienic practices for the vending of safe food to their consumers so as to prevent foodborne disease outbreaks.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Global Strategy for Food Safety: Safer Food for Better Health. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2002.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
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Mead PS, Slutsker L, Dietz V, McCaig LF, Bresee JS, Shapiro C, et al. Food-related illness and death in the United States. Emerg Infect Dis 1999;5:607-25.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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6.
Idowu OA, Rowland SA. Oral fecal parasites and personal hygiene of food handlers in Abeokuta, Nigeria. Afr Health Sci 2006;6:160-4.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
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8.
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9.
IBM. Statistical Package for Social Sciences, Statistics version 20. International Business Machine Corporation, 1 New Orchard Road, Armonk, New York, USA; 2011.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
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Malhotra R, Lal P, Prakash SK, Daga MK, Kishore J. Evaluation of a health education intervention on knowledge and attitudes of food handlers working in a medical college in Delhi, India. Asia Pac J Public Health 2008;20:277-86.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Tomlins K. Street Foods in Ghana: A Source of Income But Not without its Hazards. Public Health Action News, No. 5, March 2002, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture; 2002.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Jacob M. Safe Food Handling – A Training Guide for Managers of Food Service Establishments. Geneva: World Health Organization; 1989.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Food and Agricultural Organization. Street-food Vendors around the World. FAO News and Highlights; 2001. Available from: http://www.fao.org/News/2001/010804-e.htm. [Last accessed on 2012 Nov 13].  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
World Health Organization. Basic Food Safety for Health Workers. Geneva: World Health Organization; 1999. p. 73-4.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Tebbutt GM. Assessment of Food-hygiene training and knowledge among staff in premises producing or selling high-risk foods. Int J Environ Health Res 1992;2:131-7. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09603129209356744. [Last accessed on 2010 Dec 05].  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.
Azanza MP, Gatchalian CF, Ortega MP. Food safety knowledge and practices of streetfood vendors in a Philippines university campus. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2000;51:235-46.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.
Mahon BE, Sobel J, Townes JM, Mendoza C, Gudiel Lemus M, Cano F, et al. Surveying vendors of street-vended food: A new methodology applied in two Guatemalan cities. Epidemiol Infect 1999;122:409-16.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
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Joint Food and Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization. Assuring Food Safety and Quality: Guidelines for Strengthening National Food Control Systems. Geneva, Switzerland: Joint Food and Agricultural Organization/World Health Organization; 2001. p. 2-17.  Back to cited text no. 19
    
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24.
Green L, Selman C, Banerjee A, Marcus R, Medus C, Angulo FJ, et al. Food service workers' self-reported food preparation practices: An EHS-net study. Int J Hyg Environ Health 2005;208:27-35.  Back to cited text no. 24
    
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Mudey AB, Kesharwani N, Mudey GA, Goyal RC, Dawale A, Wagh V. Health status and personal hygiene among food handlers working at food establishment around a rural teaching hospital in Wardha district of Maharashtra, India. Glob J Health Sci 2010;2:198-204.  Back to cited text no. 25
    
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Isma'il Z, Abdullahi MR. A Study on Hygienic Standard of Food Premises and Microbiological Quality of Food in Kota Bharu. Available from: http://www.enprints.usm.my/8605/l/microbiology. [Last accessed on 2012 Aug 26].  Back to cited text no. 26
    
27.
Mukhopadhyay P, Joardar GK, Bag K, Samantha A, Sain S, Koley S. Identifying key risk behaviours regarding personal hygiene and food safety practices of food Handlers working in eating establishments located within a hospital campus in Kolkata. Al Ameen J Med Sci 2012;5:21-8.  Back to cited text no. 27
    


    Figures

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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]



 

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