Compliance to covid-19 preventive measures among street children in Kampala, Uganda
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In Uganda and Kampala in particular, poor adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures among street children is a challenge with over 80% of them unable to sanitize, wash their hands or maintain the required social distance. This study was guided by the objectives of examining the practices for compliance to COVID-19 preventive measures, ascertaining the challenges faced by street children and establishing the strategies for improving compliance to COVID-19 preventive measures among street children in Kampala. Using a cross sectional research design and adopting a quantitative research approach, the study collected data from 101 street children dwelling on the different streets within the five divisions of Kampala city with the help of a research-administered questionnaire. Thereafter, the data was classified, cleaned, coded and analyzed to extract frequency tables, percentages and other descriptive statistics. Study findings show that the most cited practices for compliance to COVID-19 preventive measures among street children were wearing a face mask frequently, though dirty (41%), hand-based sanitizers (38%), social distancing and avoiding large gatherings (29%) and avoiding touching mouth, eyes and nose with unwashed hands (10%). Findings also show that inadequacies in government funding, supply of protective or preventive materials for COVID-19, water for regular hand washing and unavailability of free masks were the most critical challenges affecting street children in their attempt to comply to COVID-19 preventive measures. Mass vaccination, emphasizing social distance, consistent use of masks, sanitizing hands and surfaces, and handwashing with soap were highlighted in improving compliance to COVID-19 prevention among street children. The government should identify supplementary sources of funding for procuring essential supplies such as personal protective equipment for medics, vaccines and face masks to be distributed to street children.