ORIGINAL PAPER
Participatory approach to identify interventions to improve the health, safety, and work productivity of smallholder women vegetable farmers in the Gambia
Risto Rautiainen 1, 2, 3  
,  
Rex Kuye 4
,  
Thomas Cook 1
,  
Kennith Culp 5
,  
 
 
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1
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
2
Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
3
University of Nebraska Medical Center, Swanson Hall 3058, Omaha, NE, 68198-5110, USA
4
School of Public Health, University of The Gambia, Brikama, The Gambia
5
Occupational Health Nursing Program, College of Nursing, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA
 
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2011;24(1):36–47
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ABSTRACT
Objective: This paper describes the qualitative, community-based participatory approach used to identify culturally-acceptable and sustainable interventions to improve the occupational health, safety, and productivity of smallholder women vegetable farmers in The Gambia (West Africa). Materials and Methods: This approach was used to conduct: 1) analysis of the tasks and methods traditionally used in vegetable production, and 2) selection of interventions. Results: The most arduous garden tasks that were amenable to interventions were identified, and the interventions were selected through a participatory process for further evaluation. Conclusions: Factors contributing to the successful implementation of the participatory approach used in this study included the following: 1) ensuring that cultural norms were respected and observed; 2) working closely with the existing garden leadership structure; and 3) research team members working with the subjects for an extended period of time to gain first-hand understanding of the selected tasks and to build credibility with the subjects.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087