KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICES AMONG RICE FARMERS ON THE USE OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT IN BUTEBO SUB COUNTY, BUTEBO DISTRICT
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Introduction: In Uganda, a great number of farmers are embracing rice growing as both the cash crop and the staple food. It’s also considered as one of the major agricultural enterprises with the ability of increasing rural income levels. This includes Butebo Sub County in Butebo district as well. However the working conditions and the work environment are associated with various occupational hazards like cuts, injuries from working equipment and animals, microorganisms, heat, drowning, exposure to pesticides and other chemicals. The use of PPE among rice farmers is poor. It was vital to detect and address the gaps in the use of PPE among rice farmers in Butebo District. Objective The study objective was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practices of rice farmers towards the use of PPE in Butebo Sub County in Butebo District. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the randomly selected sample of 180 rice farmers from the four parishes; Akisim, kasiebai, kabelai and kanyumu in Butebo Sub County in Butebo District. Simple random sampling strategy was used to select the respondents. Purposive sampling was used for selecting the key informants. Data collected was on sociodemographics, knowledge, attitude and practices of rice farmers towards the use of PPE. Data was analysed usingSTATA12.0. Analysis was carried out at univariate level and the results were presented in terms of tables and graphs. Results 180 rice farmers participated in the study, majority 155/180, 86.1% of the participants were male, more than half 165/180, 91.7% of the respondents were married and most of them were youths. More than half 103/180, 57.8% attained primary education, a greater number of the respondents 120/180. 66.8% had low knowledge on the use of PPE, 129/180, 71.7% of the respondents had negative attitude and less than half 32/180, 17.8% of the participants exhibited good practice on the use of PPE. Conclusion: The study revealed that majority of the respondents had low knowledge, negative attitude and poor practices towards PPE use. As a result, the study indicated that the ministry of Agriculture should create awareness and conduct community education of farmers concerning the use of PPE.