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HomeHealthPork Sold In Nairobi, Neighbouring Towns Has Harmful Parasite - Study Reveals

Pork Sold In Nairobi, Neighbouring Towns Has Harmful Parasite – Study Reveals

Pork Sold In Nairobi, Neighbouring Towns Has Harmful Parasite – Study Reveals

Approximately one million individuals living in Nairobi and its neighboring regions face the risk of contracting a parasite due to consuming raw pork originating from Kiambu County.

A recent research conducted by scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute in partnership with the Department of Public Health at the University of Nairobi has revealed that more than 1 million individuals residing in the vicinity of Nairobi face a potential risk.

The research findings indicate that out of every 100 pigs examined, approximately 34 were found to be infected with the harmful parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii.

The research cautions that this parasite poses a significant threat to public health, particularly for individuals with weakened immune systems and pregnant women, potentially leading to severe outcomes.

“Pigs have evidence of infection with T. gondii and that small farm size and increased live weight are important risk factors,” read the report.

Scientists suggest that humans risk contracting the parasite if they ingest pork that is raw or not thoroughly cooked, potentially leading to infection.

However, the research suggests that individuals with stronger immune systems are at a lower risk of suffering severe outcomes due to parasite infections.

“People with weakened immune systems will have serious health complications. These individuals include people with HIV and AIDS, cancer patients, diabetes, pregnant women, the elderly, and the very young,” explained the study.

The parasite can lead to conditions such as encephalitis (brain inflammation), visual disturbances, psychological disorders, and secondary respiratory infections, alongside various other health complications.


The World Health Organization recently introduced a new tool aimed at managing tapeworm, specifically the type transmitted from pigs to humans.

The WHO, alongside its collaborators, created a toolkit comprising fundamental guidance for controlling and handling pig tapeworms.

The freely available platform offers comprehensive and current technical information.

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the management of the pig tapeworm (Taenia solium) is a recent development, and numerous nations interested in initiating control efforts are seeking advice and assistance.

In Kenya, the illness is widespread in regions where pigs are reared in open-range setups.

Research undertaken in 2018 within Kiambu County and documented by the International Journal for Innovation Research and Development reveals that among 386 individuals examined in Thika, 26 were found to have the condition, indicating a prevalence rate of 6.74 percent.

The report further indicates that despite the elevated risk of infection within Nairobi, there is an increasing demand for pork. It is estimated that Kenyans consume more than 400 tonnes of pork each year, which averages 0.4 kilograms per person annually.

Pork Sold In Nairobi, Neighbouring Towns Has Harmful Parasite – Study Reveals