Risk factors and level of awareness of typhoid fever (salmonellosis) in slums of Nakawa Division
Nanteza, Mildred Thatcher,
Semmanda Zziwa, Charles
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ABSTRACT This study was conducted to find out the risk factors, the level of awareness of the people about typhoid fever and the role of health workers and community leaders in preventing the disease in the selected slums (Banda, Kinawataka and Luzira Mambo Bado) of Nakawa Division. A total of 233 respondents were selected from all the slums of which 228 were community members, 3 were chairpersons one from each slum and 2 were health workers. The community members were selected by simple random sampling and community leaders and health workers were purposively sampled. To obtain data, questionnaires for community members, interview guides for community leaders and health workers and personal observations around the area were used. Findings from the study indicated that the level of awareness about the disease is generally high for all the slums with 97.7% in Banda, 94.9% in Kinawataka and 98.4% in Luzira Mambo Bado. The risk factors of typhoid fever in the area include domestic usage of unsafe water from unsafe sources, drinking un-boiled water, use of flying toilets, improper washing of hands, fruits and vegetables and eating contaminated food from both home and local restaurants. On the issue of role of health education, chairpersons in the three slums have done some sensitization activities for their people about the disease which include; Use of posters, general cleaning of the community and have given people advice about reducing spread of the disease, which include; law enforcement, encouraging people to ensure good sanitation and personal hygiene in their respective homes and places of work among others. The health workers have never organized any sensitization activities in the area but rather have held individual health talks and have also advised people to properly dispose their fecal wastes and rubbish, ensure proper food hygiene and get access to safe and clean water. Although the level of awareness of typhoid fever in the area is high, the prevalence and manifestation of the disease is also still high. Therefore, this study recommends health workers and community leaders to organize more sensitization practices aimed at mitigating the spread of the disease.