An intervention to reduce kerosene-related burns and poisonings in low-income South African communities.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: Unintentional injury rates in low- and middle-income countries are up to 50 times higher than high-income nations. In South Africa, kerosene (paraffin) is a leading cause of poisoning and burns, particularly in low-income communities where it serves as a primary fuel for light, cooking, and heating. This study tested a community-based intervention to reduce kerosene-related injury risk. The intervention used a train-the-trainers model, whereby expert trainers train local paraprofessionals, who in turn deliver educational materials to community residents. The intervention was theory-driven, pragmatically motivated, and culturally sensitive. DESIGN: Prospective quasi-experimental intervention design with nonequivalent case versus control groups. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Three primary outcome measures were considered: self-reported knowledge of kerosene safety, observed practice of safe kerosene use, and self-reported recognition of risk for kerosene-related injury. RESULTS: ANOVA models suggest a large and significant increase in self-reported kerosene-related knowledge in the intervention community compared to the control community. There were smaller, but statistically significant changes, in kerosene-related safety practices and recognition of kerosene injury risk in the intervention community compared to the control community. CONCLUSION: The intervention was successful. A train-the-trainers model might be an effective educational tool to reduce kerosene-related injury risk in low-income communities within low- and middle-income countries.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Health Psychology  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Burns, Child, Child, Preschool, Cross-Sectional Studies, Developing Countries, Female, Health Education, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Kerosene, Male, Middle Aged, Poisoning, Poverty, Prospective Studies, Safety, South Africa, Teaching, Young Adult
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Schwebel DC; Swart D; Simpson J; Hobe P; Hui S-KA
  • Start Page

  • 493
  • End Page

  • 500
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 4