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AIDS Behav. 2010 Aug;14(4):836-44. doi: 10.1007/s10461-008-9492-z. Epub 2008 Nov 18.

Estimating alcohol content of traditional brew in Western Kenya using culturally relevant methods: the case for cost over volume.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. Rebecca.papas@yale.edu

Abstract

Traditional homemade brew is believed to represent the highest proportion of alcohol use in sub-Saharan Africa. In Eldoret, Kenya, two types of brew are common: chang'aa, spirits, and busaa, maize beer. Local residents refer to the amount of brew consumed by the amount of money spent, suggesting a culturally relevant estimation method. The purposes of this study were to analyze ethanol content of chang'aa and busaa; and to compare two methods of alcohol estimation: use by cost, and use by volume, the latter the current international standard. Laboratory results showed mean ethanol content was 34% (SD = 14%) for chang'aa and 4% (SD = 1%) for busaa. Standard drink unit equivalents for chang'aa and busaa, respectively, were 2 and 1.3 (US) and 3.5 and 2.3 (Great Britain). Using a computational approach, both methods demonstrated comparable results. We conclude that cost estimation of alcohol content is more culturally relevant and does not differ in accuracy from the international standard.

PMID:
19015972
PMCID:
PMC2909349
DOI:
10.1007/s10461-008-9492-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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