Prevalence of Khat Consumption and Its Associated Factors among Commercial Motorcyclists in Kampala Central Division, Uganda, 2016

Background: Substance abuse is a global public health challenge. Khat as a mild psychostimulant has increased in consumption in Uganda. This study investigated the prevalence and factors associated with khat use among commercial motorcyclists so as to establish its link with the occurrence of road traffic crashes in Kampala Central Division.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Kampala Central Division. Multi stage sampling technique was applied and interviewer administered questionnaires were used. KIs were purposively selected. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was carried out to identify strongest factors associated with khat use among commercial motorcyclists.
Results: A total of 392 commercial motorcyclists were sampled. Prevalence of khat consumption was 39.8%. Almost 60% (93/156) use khat daily, 63% (99/156) said enhancing driving performance as the most reasons for khat use. The multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated the factors independently associated with khat use were; having a friend who chewed khat (AOR 262.9 CI 79.51-869.69), alcohol consumption (AOR 3.04 CI 1.57- 5.89), tobacco smoking (AOR 2.17 CI 1.04-4.52), cannabis use (AOR 13.41 CI 5.46- 32.94) and Muslim religion (AOR 3.20 CI 1.49-6.88). All key informants agreed khat use was a major public health challenge.
Conclusion: Four in ten motorcyclists chew khat. Having a friend chew khat and concurrent use of other psychoactive substances were factors strongly associated with khat use. Interventions to strengthen community prevention programs to curb the high prevalence of khat use need to be implemented. Road traffic regulations should continue the fight against substance abuse among transporters.

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