Skip to main content
School of Public Health
College of Health Sciences, Makerere University

Lifejacket wear and the associated factors among boaters involved in occupational boating activities on Lake Albert, Uganda: a cross-sectional survey


Background Drowning death rates in lakeside fishing communities in Uganda are the highest recorded globally. Over 95% of people who drowned from a boating activity in Uganda were not wearing a lifejacket. This study describes the prevalence of lifejacket wear and associated factors among boaters involved in occupational boating activities on Lake Albert, Uganda.Methods We conducted a cross-sectional survey, grounded on etic epistemology and a positivist ontological paradigm. We interviewed 1343 boaters across 18 landing sites on Lake Albert, Uganda. Lifejacket wear was assessed through observation as boaters disembarked from their boats and self-reported wear for those who ‘always wore a life jacket while on the lake’. We used a mixed-effects multilevel Poisson regression, with landing site-specific random intercepts to elicit associations with lifejacket wear. We report adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) at 95% confidence intervals.Results The majority of respondents were male, 99.6% (1338/1343), and the largest proportion, 38.4% (516/1343) was aged 20–29 years. Observed lifejacket wear was 0.7% (10/1343). However, self-reported wear was 31.9% (428/1343). Tertiary-level education (adjusted PR 1.57, 95% CI 1.29- 1.91), boat occupancy of at least four people (adjusted PR 2.12, 95% CI 1.28 - 3.52), big boat size (adjusted PR 1.55, 95% CI 1.13 - 2.12) and attending a lifejacket-use training session (adjusted PR 1.25, 95% CI 1.01 - 1.56) were associated with higher prevalence of self-reported lifejacket wear. Self-reported wear was lower among the 30–39 year-olds compared to those who were aged less than 20 years (adjusted PR 0.66, 95% CI 0.45 - 0.99).Conclusion Lifejacket wear was low. Training on lifejacket use may improve wear among boaters involved in occupational boating activities on Lake Albert.Data are available upon reasonable request. Due to confidentiality, data are publicly unavailable. However, data may be availed upon reasonable request to the corresponding author on

Year of Publication
Injury prevention : journal of the International Society for Child and Adolescent Injury Prevention
Number of Pages
Date Published
2022 Dec
Type of Article
Research Article