Barbers at Kenyatta market, Nairobi fail hygiene test

By Gatonye Gathura

Barbers at the busy Kenyatta Market in Nairobi are not observing good hygiene practices putting their clients’ health at risk.

A study to be presented this week at the 8th KEMRI Scientific & Health Conference (KASH) which starts on Wednesday shows a haircut at the market could be a risky undertaking.

Researchers at the Kenya Medical Research Institute and Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology had investigated hygiene practices by barbers at shops within Kenyatta market, Nairobi County.

The study to be presented by Alvin Mwabu shows less than a half of barbers clean their premises once a day. Only 12 per cent of the barbers clean their shops at least twice in a day.

While all the barbers disinfected their shaving machines before cutting hair none disinfect the same machines after shaving. Sixty four per cent of the barbers never sterilize their shaving machines.

None of the barbers disinfected or sterilized barber materials and equipment such as combs, barber brushes, customer gowns/aprons, shelves and face towels.

Barber shops within Kenyatta Market and its environs, the study says have inadequate sanitary and hygiene practices that could be contributing towards transmission of contagious diseases.

The annual KASH meeting, to be held at Safari Park Hotel along Thika Road brings together a huge number of local and foreign researchers.

Interesting findings to be discussed at the conference is the use of herbal plant extract in the treatment of cancer.

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