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Biography

Natasha Shaukat is doing her fellowship from the department of Community Health Sciences. Her areas of interest within Public Health are Environmental and Occupational Health. Currently she is involved in an interventional study which aims at improving respiratory health of textile workers. She is also doing her dissertation in estimating the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among construction workers in Karachi, Pakistan. She had previously worked in Multicentre study, which aimed at determining the prevalence of COPD in Karachi, Pakistan.

Abstract

Methods: This cross-sectional study involving 300 male workers, from seven textile mills in Karachi, was conducted from September–December 2015. A 55-item structured questionnaire was developed and pretested, to determine knowledge (31 items), attitude (10 items) and practice (14 items) scores. Independent sample t-test and ANOVA tests were applied to calculate mean differences in KAP scores for categorical variables; while Pearson correlation was used for continuous variables.

Results: Mean age of the participants was 31(±9.5) years with majority belonging to Urdu-speaking ethnicity (39%; n=118). About 90% (n=269) of the workers had secondary or less education. Mean percentage scores for KAP was found to be (33.3%), (32%), and (20.4%) for K, A, P respectively. Higher educational status, dyeing and spinning sections of the mill and type of mill were found to be strong predictors of high KAP scores (p<0.01). We also found significant differences in KAP scores related to job designation and ethnicity (p<0.01). The increase in working hours per day (r=-0.18 for K, -0.14 for A, and -0.27 for P; and p<0.01) and working days per week (r= -0.13 for K, -0.14 for A and -0.09 for P; and p<0.05) were negatively associated with the KAP scores.

Conclusion: We found higher KAP scores with better education and those working in dyeing or spinning section. However, increased working hours and days per week had a negative effect on KAP scores. This study documents the poor KAP of textile workers and calls for provision of occupational health and safety trainings.