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Lifejacket wear and the associated factors among boaters involved in occupational boating activities on Lake Albert, Uganda: a cross-sectional survey
  1. Frederick Oporia1,
  2. Fred Nuwaha1,
  3. Simon P S Kibira2,
  4. Olive Kobusingye1,3,
  5. Fredrick Edward Makumbi4,
  6. Mary Nakafeero1,
  7. Ronald Ssenyonga4,
  8. John Bosco Isunju1,
  9. Jagnoor Jagnoor5
  1. 1 Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
  2. 2 Department of Community Health and Behavioural Sciences, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
  3. 3 The George Institute for Global Health, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
  5. 5 George Institute for Global Health, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Frederick Oporia, Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Kampala, Uganda; foporia{at}musph.ac.ug

Abstract

Background Drowning death rates in lakeside fishing communities in Uganda are the highest recorded globally. Over 95% of people who drowned from a boating activity in Uganda were not wearing a lifejacket. This study describes the prevalence of lifejacket wear and associated factors among boaters involved in occupational boating activities on Lake Albert, Uganda.

Methods We conducted a cross-sectional survey, grounded on etic epistemology and a positivist ontological paradigm. We interviewed 1343 boaters across 18 landing sites on Lake Albert, Uganda. Lifejacket wear was assessed through observation as boaters disembarked from their boats and self-reported wear for those who ‘always wore a life jacket while on the lake’. We used a mixed-effects multilevel Poisson regression, with landing site-specific random intercepts to elicit associations with lifejacket wear. We report adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) at 95% confidence intervals.

Results The majority of respondents were male, 99.6% (1338/1343), and the largest proportion, 38.4% (516/1343) was aged 20–29 years. Observed lifejacket wear was 0.7% (10/1343). However, self-reported wear was 31.9% (428/1343). Tertiary-level education (adjusted PR 1.57, 95% CI 1.29- 1.91), boat occupancy of at least four people (adjusted PR 2.12, 95% CI 1.28 - 3.52), big boat size (adjusted PR 1.55, 95% CI 1.13 - 2.12) and attending a lifejacket-use training session (adjusted PR 1.25, 95% CI 1.01 - 1.56) were associated with higher prevalence of self-reported lifejacket wear. Self-reported wear was lower among the 30–39 year-olds compared to those who were aged less than 20 years (adjusted PR 0.66, 95% CI 0.45 - 0.99).

Conclusion Lifejacket wear was low. Training on lifejacket use may improve wear among boaters involved in occupational boating activities on Lake Albert.

  • Drowning
  • Fisher-folk
  • Water transport
  • Low-Middle Income Country
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Due to confidentiality, data are publicly unavailable. However, data may be availed upon reasonable request to the corresponding author on foporia@musph.ac.ug.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Due to confidentiality, data are publicly unavailable. However, data may be availed upon reasonable request to the corresponding author on foporia@musph.ac.ug.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors All authors made significant contributions to merit co-authorship. Frederick Oporia conceptualised the study, led the writing of the proposal and obtained ethical clearance, supervised the data collection process, oversaw the analysis, led the writing of the manuscript and played a supervisory role in the entire process. FEM provided technical guidance on the best statistical analysis approach for the study and the interpretation of the results. FN and SPSK participated in reviewing tools and advised on the data collection process and participated in the review and interpretation of findings. JBI participated in the review of the manuscript to ensure intellectual integrity. MN and RS supported the data analysis process, while JJ and OK provided expert advice based on their vast experience and knowledge in the field of drowning prevention, and reviewed the data collection tools to ensure the required data were collected. All authors reviewed and approved the final manuscript. However, FO takes full responsibility for the conduct of the study and final manuscript as the guarantor; he had full access to the data and controlled the decision to publish.

  • Funding This study was partly supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies (51606) through the CDC Foundation and the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA). CARTA is jointly led by the African Population and Health Research Centre and the University of the Witwatersrand and funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York (grant number G-19–57145), Sida (grant number 54100113), Uppsala Monitoring Centre and the DELTAS Africa Initiative (grant number 107768/Z/15/Z). The DELTAS Africa Initiative is an independent funding scheme of the African Academy of Sciences’s Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa and supported by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency with funding from the Wellcome Trust (UK) and the UK government.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were involved in the design, conduct, reporting or dissemination plans of this research. Refer to the Methodology section for further details.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.