Most often, patronage of open markets attracts huge populations of buyers in Nigeria. These markets are numerous in each state of the country but largely share similar characteristics in poor hygiene and sanitation. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) was conducted at Shasha market, Oba-Ile, Akure to assess the health implication of patronage of open markets, an emerging public health concern. Air, water and selected food samples were taken for microbial analysis while soil samples from different spots in the market, and faecal samples from residents of the market community were also taken for parasitology. The respective tests followed standard procedures to determine the coliform count and parasitic fauna in the collected samples. Out of 73 faecal samples that were examined, 69 (94.52%) were positive. Hookworm ova had the highest occurrence (40%) followed by Strongyloides. stercoralis and Ascaris lumbricoides ova which were 33 and 27% respectively. The result also revealed that 95.83% of the collected soil samples were contaminated with helminth eggs and larvae including Ascaris lumbricoides, Strongyloides stercoralis and Hookworm. Bacteria and fungi species found in the air, water and food samples include Staphylococcus aureus, Entamoeba. coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Salmonella typhi, Rhizopus stolonifer, Penicillium digitatum and Aspergillus niger. The market environment was highly contaminated with various stages of pathogenic organisms of public health importance and this predisposes the buyers and sellers to different communicable diseases. The market requires urgent attention by the concerned government authority in its management and sanitation.
Key words: Health impact assessment, open market, patronage, pathogens.
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