Johnson Ofonime E, and Ihesie Chukwuemeka A
Hawking among children is a common sight in most citi es in Nigeria. The objective of this study was to determine possible health problems of children hawk ing in Uyo, southern Nigeria. This was a cross sectional study carried out among children selling along major traffic light intersections in Uyo metropolis. The instrument of data collection was a semi-structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20. A total of 225 hawkers particip ated in the study with a male: female ratio of 1.12:1 and a mean age of 13.27 ( 2.52) years. Most, 201 (89.3%) worked for 4-7 days weekly and 88 (39.1%) worked all day. Up to 54 (24.0%) spent 9-13 hours daily hawking. More than half, 135 (58.5%) of them perceived hawking as dangerous. Sixty nine (30. 7%) had been involved in road traffic accident. Significantly more females 33 (31.1%) than males 10 (8.4%) reported ever experiencing sexual harassment or rape (p <0.001). Headaches, 46 (20.4%), general body pains, 40 (17.7%) and leg pains, 36 (16.0%) were the most frequently experienced health problems among the respondents. Other problems included fever, 24 (10.6%) and tiredness/weakness, 34 (15.1%). One case of pregnancy was reported. Awareness campaigns should be carried out in media outfits to discourage parents from exposing their children to such health problems.
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