Exploring risk factors of diarrheal diseases from male workers’ perspectives in Qatar: A qualitative approach.
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Background: According to WHO, diarrhea is an infection in the intestinal tract, which can be caused by a variety of bacterial, viral and parasitic organisms. The infection spreads through contaminated food or drinking water, or from person-to-person because of poor hygiene. Globally, 780 million individuals lack access to improved drinking water and 2.5 billion lack-improved sanitation. It is reported that diarrhea ranked as 1 of the top 10 causes of mortality and disability-adjusted life-years in individuals of all age groups. In the United States, it is estimated that there are about 48 million foodborne diarrheal illnesses that result in more than 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths yearly. Workers are considered a vulnerable group to having diarrhea and should be provided with prevention services to lessen the probability of having the disease. The purpose of this study is to explore the risk factors related to diarrheal diseases from the perspective of male workers in Qatar. Methodology: Two focus groups were conducted with 17 male workers from the governmental and private sector. The workers were selected from a convenient sample suggested by the Qatari Red Crescent organization. A semi-formal meeting room in Mesaimeer’s Workers Health Center was used to hold the focus group discussions. The written consent and demographic forms were obtained from each participant. An interview guide was used, which focused on the following themes: perceptions and precautions regarding diarrheal diseases, food preparation and storage, sanitation and hygienic practices, and food safety massages and information. The focus group discussions were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed by following inductive thematic analysis. Results: The results showed that the level of knowledge regarding the risk factors of diarrhea disease varied between the two focus groups with the second group having better level of knowledge. Participants explained that low socioeconomic status, long working hours, lack of regular inspection are among the major factors causing diarrheal diseases. In case of having diarrhea, the majority of the participants prefer to have a home remedy, if they face obstacles in consulting a physician. None of our participants had experienced foodborne diarrheal illnesses and participants from both groups had proper hygienic practices in food storage and personal hygiene. Laborers suggested having awareness program, regular inspection, and communicating health education messages through using social network, such as WhatsApp channel to improve food hygiene practices among camp workers. Conclusion: This study will be the first of it’s kind in Qatar. Hearing the voices of these workers would help understand their needs and address them while planning for effective health education and promotion programs to enhance food hygiene practices among camp workers.
- Public Health [131 items ]