Knowledge of, attitudes and practices towards indoor air pollution exposure from solid fuels in households of Kasambya Town Council Mubende District
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Introduction and background: It’s estimated globally that 2.8 billion people use solid fuels as their primary cooking fuel. The resulting high levels of Household Air Pollution (HAP) were estimated to cause more than 4 million premature deaths in 2012. The people most affected are among the world’s poorest. In urbanized society, people spend most of their time (90%) indoors and are constantly exposed to indoor pollutants and consequent adverse health effects like asthma and attacks of breathlessness. An individual’s exposure to pollution depends on her time allocation over indoor activities and how her residence is designed and what self-protection technologies are used. In households with limited ventilation, exposures experienced by household members, particularly women and young children who spend a large proportion of their time indoors are many times higher. Objectives: To assess the community knowledge, attitudes and practices on Indoor Air Pollution exposures due to use of solid fuels by households in Kasambya Town Council Mubende District to reduce indoor air pollution exposures among community residences. Methodology: the study was a cross-sectional study design employing both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods in Kasambya Town Council. A total of 85 respondents participated in the study. Data was entered in using EPI Data 3.02 software then exported to STATA version 2013 software for analysis. Results: Majority 86.0% (73/85) of the respondents had heard about the health effects of IAP due to solid fuel smoke. 92.8% (79/85) admitted to know the immediate dangers associated with solid fuel smoke. Most 62.7% (40/79) mentioned cough and flue 44.1% (37/85). Respondents were knowledgeable on ways of improving the quality of fuels, most 79.2% (67/85) of respondents mentioned using well dried firewood. On behaviors to reduce smoke exposure, nearly half 48.3% (41/85) mentioned keeping out the kitchen while cooking followed by improving the kitchen design 47.5% (40/85). Attitude towards risks of exposure to IAP while cooking, all most all the respondents 96.2% (82/85) thought they are at risk, 95.3% (81/85) of respondents thought that improving kitchen design is important to reduce IAP. On the practices to reduce IAP, more than half 55.3% (47/85) of respondents reported creating hole in the walls and eaves 43.5% (37/85) Conclusion: the community’s knowledge levels and attitude on IAP had not been translated into action as the observed practices were not good. The observed knowledge and practices were most likely to be attributable to culture and adaptation as there has not been community training and demonstrations on IAP. Recommendation: It is important for the Ministry of health and partners to advocate for IAP at all levels from community, sub-county, district and national levels. The DHT should formulate health promotion programs focusing on prevention and control of IAP due to solid fuel. The sub county implementation team under the guide of the environmental health staff should establish community demonstration villages, conduct community health education and promotion and train selected members in the community on the prevention of IAP.