Poor provision of sanitary facilities in markets of lusaka district Zambia
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAnnals of Global Health. 2021, 87 (1), 119. 10.5334/aogh.3400
Background: Although provision of sanitary facilities in workplaces is an important issue, very few studies have been undertaken in this regard. Objective: This study assessed the provision of sanitary facilities for market traders and their perceptions of the provided facilities in Lusaka district Zambia. Methods: A cross-sectional study of workplace observations in 12 randomly selected markets and interviews with 386 traders, conducted in Lusaka district. Findings: The study revealed that eleven of the twelve markets provided toilets, hand-washing and drying facilities, water, urinals, soap, and toilet paper. However, most of the markets did not comply with the Zambian laws in terms of the adequacy and privacy of facilities. One market did not have any of the listed facilities. Most traders perceived facilities to be unsatisfactory and used them only because of the lack of alternatives. Poor provision of sanitary facilities was observed at markets thus predisposing its workforce and trading population to multiple public health hazards. Conclusions: The findings of this study call for urgent investments in sanitary structures and surveillance systems to guarantee the safety of the population and to promote the health of market traders as well as the community at large.