Knowledge, attitudes and barriers to adherence of the COVID-19 preventive measures among vendors in food markets in Nansana Municipality, Wakiso District
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Background: The increased number of COVID-19 cases following the second wave of the pandemic which started in June, 2021 made food markets key risk places for COVID-19 transmission. Despite the fact that several preventive measures to curb the spread in markets such as maintaining at least a 2-meter distance between market vendors and wearing face masks were introduced during the first wave. Vendors in food markets in Nansana municipality, Wakiso District are still challenged with poor adherence to these COVID-19 preventive measures. Study Objectives: This study aimed at assessing knowledge, attitudes and barriers to adherence of the COVID-19 preventive measures among vendors in food markets in Nansana municipality, Wakiso district. Methodology: This study was cross sectional study which employed both quantitative methods and qualitative methods of data collection. Quantitatively, semi-structured questionnaires were used to collect data on knowledge and attitudes of the vendors on the COVID-19 preventive measures. Data on barriers to adherence was collected qualitatively using key informant interviews of the food market chairpersons, leaders of the market food vendors and division health inspectors. Quantitative data was entered and cleaned using EPI DATA 3.0 software and analysed using STATA 13 software. Qualitative data was recorded and then analyzed thematically. Results: All the 404 food market vendors (100%) knew about the COVID-19 pandemic and they all identified at most two ways how COVID—19 is prevented. Good hand hygiene was the most known preventive measure 99.5% (402/404), followed by use of face masks, 96.5% (390/404) and lastly social distancing, 75.5% (305/404). The vendors generally had negative attitudes towards the measures regarding the different aspects of the COVID-19 assessed. Only 10% (42/404) of the vendors agreed that COVID-19 preventive measures are very relevant in food markets and majority 76% (307/404) agreed to rarely having guilty feelings whenever they fail to follow a preventive measure. Financial constraints, poor work environments and misinformation were found to be the main barriers to adherence in the food markets. Conclusion: Vendors within food markets in Nansana municipality were fairly knowledgeable about the COVID-19 preventive measures. However, they had negative attitudes towards these measures. In addition, several challenges such as financial constraints and poor work environment are still preventing adherence to these measures.