Facemask wearing in COVID-19 pandemic: Correlates and prevalence; A survey after COVID-19 second wave in Uganda.

Article Authors: Nelson, O. A., Emmanuel, O. D. M., Johnson, N. O., Steven, B., Christopher, O., Denis, A., Denish, O. O., Pamela, O. A., Patrick, O. O., Godfrey, S. O., Francis, P. P., Freddy, W. D. O., Eric, N. I., Judith, A., David, L. Ki.


Background The WHO and the US. CDC documented that facemask-wearing in public situations is one of the most important prevention measures that can limit the acquisition and spread of COVID-19. Considering this, WHO and US. CDC developed guidelines for using facemasks in public settings. This study aimed to determine correlates and prevalence of facemask wearing during COVID-19 pandemic among adult population of Northern Uganda.

Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study on five hundred and eighty-seven adult population of northern Uganda. A single stage stratified, and systematic sampling methods were used to select respondents from twenty-four Acholi subregion’s health facilities. Data was collected in a face-to-face questionnaire interview with an internal validity of Cronbach’s α=0.72. A local IRB approved the study, and Stata 18 was used for data analysis at multivariable Poisson regression with a p-value set at ≤0.05.

Results The most substantial findings from this study were the high prevalence of face mask-wearing in public among respondents [88.7%,95%CI:86%-91%]. At a multivariable Poisson regression analysis, we found that obese respondents were 1.12 times more likely to wear facemasks than those who were not, [adjusted Interval Rates Ratios, aIRR=1.12,95%CI:1.04-1.19;p<0.01], and respondent who agreed to the lockdown measures were 1.23 times more likely to wear facemasks during COVID-19 pandemic than those who did not, [aIRR=1.23, 95%CI:1.07-1.41;p<0.01]. Other sociodemographic characteristics such as sex, age, occupation, level of education, religion, tribes, marital status, nationality, race, and comorbidities were not statistically significant at 95% Confidence Intervals.

Conclusion The most significant findings from this study were the high prevalence of face mask-wearing among adult community members in northern Uganda. The correlates of facemask wearing in public were the obese and respondents who agreed with the presidential directives on the lockdown measures. Although this was within acceptable prevalence rates, the strict enforcement of face mask-wearing by security forces raised concerns among many community members and human rights advocates. We recommend more studies on communities’ perspectives on the challenges and benefits of facemask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bibliographical metadata

Issue No. 3
Pages 26
DOI https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.10.16.23297124
License CC BY 4.0



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