The use of Khat and other drugs in 20 suburbs of Kampala: Patterns of use and increased harm following raids and banning of street vending in Kampala Central Business District.

Thomas Muyunga, Asiimwe Jehoash, Namagala Teddy, Kirunda Michael


Objective: To describe an increase in enrolment, change in lifestyles at 20 suburb hot spots around Kampala and the associated risk practices. To assess the impact of use of recreational substances on risk behaviour following raids and banning of street vending in Kampala City Business District after October 2011.
Method: Cross-sectional survey of one hundred and seventy-two (N=172) people who used Khat, alcoholic gin, smoked marijuana and herbal teas at least on five occasions in the previous 2 months. Participants were from Old Kampala, Kinawattaka trailer stop, Kisekka Market, Kisenyi, Makindye, Kibuye, Katwe, Bwaise, Kawempe, Nansana, Kawaala, Kasubi, Nakulabye, Kiwuunya, Kivvulu, Kimwaanyi, Wandegeya, Kabalagala and Ggaba landing Site.
Results: We followed 172 participants who had used khat, gin and smoked marijuana in the previous month (n=172) from 20 brothels, 15 betting points,15 ludo/Snooker joints, 12 film kiosks, 20 food vending kiosks and 10 lodges. After October, significantly more numbers were seen in the hotspots. Regular clients are provided special treatment and herbal teas mixed with marijuana leaves as a popular form of ingestion. This is also opportunity for introducing them to other forms of recreation and networks. There was increased number of sex-work clients as a result of increased number of girls enrolled in sex-work and informal work. 32 newer brothels have been erected to absorb sex-work and drug-use in all these suburbs. 22 new karaoke groups were formed and 13 retail shops were converted into bars.
Conclusions: Changes in the Central Business District followed by evicting all forms of street vending and small businesses without alternatives or options has led to the increase in drug use and sex-work in outlying suburbs.


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