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Factors concerning the effective use of life saving equipment in Uganda and low-middle income countries.

Mills, Robert (2022) Factors concerning the effective use of life saving equipment in Uganda and low-middle income countries.
The principle aim of this research project is to establish the factors associated with drowning and life jacket use amongst the fishing communities of Lake Victoria, and the possibility of reducing drowning events using design and innovation. Research is focused on: life jackets, risk, beliefs, culture, legislation, and education. A pragmatic approach using quantitative and qualitative research methods was used to establish the reasoning for non-life jacket usage and identify the priorities for an appropriate alternative life jacket design. Although it is not fully understood if a change in life jacket design would answer the problem of suitability or more importantly, desirability. A comprehensive literature review was undertaken using cited journals, books, conference papers, and trustworthy media reports. Grounded theory was used to compare, and contrast similarities between collected data. Because of the nature of the research problem a qualitative and quantitative mixed methods approach was used to answer the research question. Why are there so many drowning fatalities in low middle income countries in particular the African waters of Lake Victoria, and what can be done to alleviate the problem? Sampling techniques involving semi-structured interviews was carried out using experienced sailors/boat handlers. Data was accumulated from their views and opinions on their sailing experiences, foreign waters and health and safety at sea. Planning, analysing, and evaluating data from semi-structured interviews combined with a fundamental literature review produced valuable research data. Data obtained from the interviews was analysed using the mixed methods approach. Interviewees were not unanimous in their views and opinions. Research revealed that Ugandan culture beliefs, perception of risk, lack of appropriate education, alcohol and practicability were the main contributing factors in the non-use of life jackets. Research also indicated that to reduce significant numbers of drowning fatalities would require the mandatory wearing of life jackets. Although this would require the supply and distribution of free or subsidised life jackets, manufactured to an acceptable standard of quality and suitability.
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