D Tumusiime, K Mugabi, G Nakanjako, J Namayanja, AR Ademun, S Ndyanabo, C Ayebazibwe, G Nizeyimana, S Okuthe and JW Magona
A participatory disease search was conducted among abattoir workers in Lugazi abattoir in Buikwe District, Bombo abattoir in Luwero District, Kame Valley abattoir in Mukono District, and Kyengera cattle abattoir and Nakasozi-Buddo Pig Slaughterhouse in Wakiso District with the aim of assessing the level of disease risk knowledge among abattoir workers. Data collection employed PDS tools, including, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, simple ranking, proportional piling, observations, and transect walk through abattoir facilities. In addition questionnaires were administered to a selected number of abattoir workers.
Five abattoirs visited were small to medium size in terms of slaughter capacity: Lugazi abattoir (20 heads of cattle and 5 shoats per day); Bombo abattoir (10 heads of cattle and 6 shoats per day); Kame Valley abattoir (20 heads of cattle and 6 shoats); Kyengera Cattle abattoir (20 heads of cattle and 10 shoats per day and Nakasozi-Buddo pig slaughterhouse (30 pigs per day). Many had poor infrastructure, poor sanitation and poor drainage. Of the 52 abattoir workers interviewed, a substantial proportion (67.3%) was aware of zoonoses. However, a reasonable proportion (32.7%) did not know zoonoses. Awareness was on a wide range of diseases and conditions, including, Brucellosis, Tuberculosis, Tetanus, Cysticercosis, Mange, Foot and Mouth Disease, Swine Influenza, Hepatitis B, Lumpy Skin Disease, African Swine fever, Lice, Tunga penetrans, Anthrax, Rift Valley fever, Fasciolosis, Tick-borne infections and Salmonellosis. A reasonable proportion of abattoir workers (40.4%) were aware of consumption of meat from diseased animals, drinking of raw milk, contact, open cuts, aerosols, skin cuts, and tick bites as the mode of infection for disease. Utilization of personal protective equipment, especially boots (98%) and coveralls (90%) was highly observed and practised in the abattoirs visited. A high proportion of abattoir workers (95%) stated they normally observe hand washing in the abattoirs, with 88% practising hand washing during every task but only 40% of the respondents utilized the soap hand wash.
In conclusion, improved abattoir facilities, sanitation, drainage and improved biosafety of workers could be achieved through development support towards facilities and an awareness program for abattoir workers on health hazards, zoonotic diseases and protective clothing.
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