Assessment of Alcohol Use Control Programs in Secondary Schools in Lofa County, Liberia

Macklin Marvin Korvah *

Department of Public Health, University of Liberia, Monrovia, Liberia.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Introduction: As one of the leading risk factors for disease burdens in the modern era, alcohol consumption exacerbates health-related repercussions with likely threatening influences on morbidity and mortality. Alcohol use in Liberia is a relic that hems in the anthropological and sociological perspectives on the economy, culture, and society. Students drinking has plagued several learning institutions across the country. Hence, some private and public institutions established school-based alcohol use control programs to help reduce in-school-youths' drinking. However, no study has credibly investigated the disparity in the prevalence of drinking between public and private school students. This study aimed to examine and compare the alcohol use prevalence between public and private secondary school students in Liberia.

Methods: A quantitative method using a self-administered questionnaire to explore and interpret the prevalence of alcohol use between two independent populations, public (220) and private (180) secondary school students, was adopted. The study was done in Lofa County among students under age 14 to age 29 years. MS Excel 2016 (Office 365) was used for a two-proportion z-test analysis between two population proportions of alcohol users (public and private school students), while IBM 21.0 SPSS was used to perform chi-square tests of independence to test the association between categorical variables.

Results: Drinking was a common phenomenon among students; however, the prevalence was significantly higher in public schools (71.8%) compared to private schools (32.8%). In a chi-square (X2) test for independence in an eventuality table, there is a non-significant association between alcohol use and "age group (p=0.406)," "gender (p=0.073)," and "grade levels (p=0.073) in public schools. However, in private schools, there is a significant association between alcohol use and "age group (p=0.000)," "gender (p=0.000)," and "grade levels (p=0.000).

Conclusions: Several factors, as well as sociodemographic characteristics, limited knowledge of alcohol use policy, and students' proximity to family members who are distillers and vintners, especially in public schools, influence the high rate of alcohol use among students. Therefore, a comprehensive intervention strategy that encompasses students' social environment, including the community, school, and family, is needed to reduce and prevent students' drinking in Liberia.

Keywords: School-based alcohol use control program, prevalence, student alcohol consumption, in-school youth, secondary schools, Liberia, Lofa County


How to Cite

Korvah, M. M. (2024). Assessment of Alcohol Use Control Programs in Secondary Schools in Lofa County, Liberia. Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, 30(6), 22–33. https://doi.org/10.9734/jsrr/2024/v30i62017

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