Evaluating the Technical Feasibility of Aflatoxin Risk Reduction Strategies in Africa
Public health interventions must be readily accepted by their target populations to have any meaningful impact, and must have financial and infrastructural support to be feasible in the parts of the world where they are most needed. At the same time, these interventions must be assessed for potential unintended consequences, either to the environment or to human health. In this paper, we evaluate the technical feasibility of interventions to control aflatoxin risk, to be potentially deployed in parts of Africa where aflatoxin exposure poses a significant public health concern. We have applied a conceptual framework for feasibility to four interventions, one associated with each of four different stages of aflatoxin risk: biocontrol (pre-harvest), a post-harvest intervention package (post-harvest), NovaSil clay (dietary), and hepatitis B vaccination (clinical). For each intervention, we have assessed the following four components of technical feasibility: 1) characteristics of the basic intervention, 2) characteristics of delivery, 3) requirements on government capacity, and 4) usage characteristics. We propose ways in which feasibility of each intervention is currently high or low from the perspective of adoption in Africa, how public education is crucial for each of these interventions to succeed, and how to align economic incentives to make the interventions more suitable for less developed countries.