Hope Mavis Masika

  • Designation: Senior Nursing Officer in-charge of the HIV Clinic and Paediatric ward Makerere University School of Public Health
  • Country: Uganda
  • Title: Prevalence and Factors Associated with 'Sachet' Alcohol Use among Secondary School Students in Kampala District


Hope is a Public Health Specialist working with Compassion International Uganda. She provides technical expertise and coordinates health programs for children and youth.

Hope has also worked as a Senior Nursing Officer in charge of the HIV Clinic and Paediatric ward while teaching university students. As a National Trainer of Trainees on Paediatric HIV and a Team Leader for the HIV Quality Improvement Team, Hope has been involved in training, coaching, and offering support supervision in HIV care for children and adolescents. Hope holds an undergraduate degree in Nursing and a Master of Public Health. 


Introduction: There is global concern about drinking trends among young people. The age of initiation is getting younger and younger in terms of drinking. In Uganda, alcoholic spirits producers often package their products in small sachets of alcohol, which increases access and convenience to even the youth population. As in other developing countries, the prevalence and associated factors of sachet alcohol use are not sufficiently studied in Uganda.

The objective is to determine the prevalence, associated factors, and effects of sachet alcohol consumption among secondary school students in Kampala.

 Methods: The study was a cross-sectional survey with 625 respondents selected by stratified multi-stage sampling from three divisions of Kampala. Three schools were randomly selected, one school per division. Convenience sampling was used to select 52 students per class. 36 volunteers also participated in the six focus group discussions. Qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection were used. Quantitative data was analyzed using STATA. Bivariate and multivariate analyses determined associations between the outcome and the independent variables. P-values and 95% CI were used to determine the significance of the association. Qualitative data was transcribed and coded according to the themes.

Results: The prevalence of sachet alcohol use among secondary school students in Kampala was 35.0%. Gender and easy access to sachet alcohol were significantly associated with sachet alcohol use. Male students were more likely to consume sachet alcohol (OR; 2.21, 95%CI; 1.31-3.75), while the students who found it difficult to obtain sachet alcohol at school were less likely to drink sachet alcohol (OR;0.55, 95%CI; 0.014-0.72). Age, class, person staying with the student, and age at first intake of alcohol were not significantly associated with sachet alcohol use among secondary school students. Other factors highlighted to facilitate sachet alcohol use among secondary school students included family / parental and peer influence. The most common associated negative effects experienced by the students due to sachet alcohol use were hangover (42%), sexual temptation (34.2%), sickness (33.3%), poor performance in school (30.6%), absenteeism from school (30.1%), doing something regrettable (32%), getting hurt (26.5%), skipping of lessons (26%), damage of property (21.9%) and getting into a fight after drinking alcohol (21%).

Conclusion: The findings from this study indicate that the prevalence of sachet alcohol use in secondary schools is high in part due to ease of access from their social networks, calling for a need to regulate access to these drinks, especially among school-going children.

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