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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 17-20

Use of Protective Devices: Awareness and Practice among Scavengers at Dumpsites in Lagos, Nigeria

1 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Physical Medicine, Lagos State General Hospital, Nigeria
4 Department of Anaesthesia, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
V O Osunkalu
Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, College of Medicine, University of Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background and Objective: Overpopulation has led to increase in the volume of waste generated in Lagos State, and the effect of continuous rural-urban migration has further worsened the unemployment situation, with consequent increase in the number of unemployed youths turning to scavenging to earn a living. This study is aimed at evaluating the level of awareness and practice of the use of simple protective devices such as hand gloves, boots and face masks, and the attendant health implication for scavengers at three dumpsites in Lagos, Nigeria. Methods: The dump sites were selected by simple random sampling from the 9 dump sites in Lagos. These selected dump sites were located at Olososun, Abule-Egba and Solous. A total of 384 scavengers were initially recruited for this study by simple random sampling after obtaining verbal consent. Of these, 300 of the participants (83.3%) actually completed the study. Close ended, structured questionnaires were applied to each of the consenting participants. Results: Of the total number of respondents, 75% were aware of the need to use safety devices (hand gloves, face masks, boots and goggles). Use of protective device was highest among the age group 30-49. The low percentage utilization of protective device was similar in both sexes (33.6% of males and 32.3% of females). However, the highest compliance with usage was among respondents with tertiary education (44.4%). Fever was the most frequently occurring symptom among the respondents (89.3%). The commonest reason for non use of these protective devices was attributed to cost by 86% of respondents. Conclusion: The level of awareness of the need for the use of protective devices was high among respondents. However, the practice of use of these devices, remained very poor.

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