Community knowledge, practices, and perceptions regarding environmental determinants of health in Melusi, Pretoria, South Africa
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School of Health Systems and Public Health, University of Pretoria, South Africa
School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Gezina, South Africa
University of Pretoria, South Africa
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A158
Background: In order to improve public health policies and services, construct an environmentally resilient health sector, and promote healthy and sustainable communities, extensive study is required. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the Melusi community’s knowledge, perceptions, and practices regarding environmental determinants of health and their understanding and contribution to community health and welfare. Methods: This cross-sectional survey was done in the Melusi informal settlement, Daspoort neighborhood in the western suburbs of Pretoria. Using random sampling, 448 persons were interviewed using a structured electronic questionnaire. Results: Over 60% of respondents were aware of various forms of pollution (water, land, and air). Newspapers, radio, and television, as well as the internet and health care workers, were the primary sources of information. Almost 90% of respondents said water was easily accessible. Predictors of water pollution were occupation, income, dwelling, toilet, water source and cooking source. Water source, gas and paraffin as cooking sources were the predictors of air pollution. Determinants of land pollution were pit latrine as a type of toilet, water source (JoJo tank), cooking source (paraffin) and country of birth. Lastly, occupation (unemployed), water source, cooking source and place of birth. Conclusions: This study found a variety of patterns of knowledge, attitudes, and actions regarding environmental health determinants and the risks they bring to communities. There is more work to be done to promote awareness of pollution and climate change, as well as their impact in South African communities like Melusi.