Assessing the knowledge, attitude and practices of households towards cholera outbreak preparedness and prevention in Kalerwe Village, Kawempe Division, Kampala City
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Background: Cholera is still a great public health threat to the global community and more particularly in the developing countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia. It is endemic in areas where access to safe water and adequate sanitation is a challenge especially in high density areas like slums, refugee camps. Kalerwe village is one of the high-density urban slums in Kampala City in Uganda. Kalerwe has continuously received cholera outbreaks during the rainy seasons of the year. It is therefore vital to understand the knowledge, attitude and practices of the community households towards cholera preparedness and prevention. Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitude and practices of households towards cholera outbreak preparedness and prevention so as to mitigate the spread of cholera in the country. Methodology: A cross sectional study design utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection was carried out in Kalerwe village, Kawempe division in Kampala City. Random sampling method was used to select 138 households where an adult member was interviewed. Two key informant interviews were carried out. Observations during the transect walk were taken. Data was collected using questionnaires on Epicollect 5 and analyzed using STATA software. Results: About 98.6% of the participants knew that cholera was caused by germs from poor sanitation. 93.5% of the participants knew that severe diarrhea and vomiting were typical signs of cholera and 97.8% knew that prevention of cholera can be achieved by supply of safe water and ensuring adequate sanitation. 90.6% of the participants were interested in preventing cholera and 100% of all the participants believed that hands should be washed before eating. The respondents reported to be having good sanitation practices, however from the observations and key informant interviews it was realized that the households practiced open defecation, indiscriminate dumping of solid waste, consumption of unsafe water among others. Conclusion: The households of Kalerwe village had poor sanitation and food hygiene practices regardless of being aware of how cholera is transmitted and prevented. It is therefore paramount to promote cholera outbreak prevention and preparedness activities like safe water supply and adequate latrine construction in Kalerwe village. Government should continue to carry out massive cholera risk reduction measures like providing sanitation infrastructure in such urban informal settlements.