Background: Knowing the residents' knowledge, attitude, and practices to air pollution is necessary for developing interventions specific to that population. Air pollution remains a neglected environmental concern in Windhoek, Namibia and people’s perceptions about air pollution and health have not been documented. This study investigated the knowledge, attitudes and practices of tertiary students to air pollution in Windhoek.
Methods: Students from five tertiary institutions in Windhoek were included in cross sectional study. A previously validated questionnaire was used to collect data from the study participants. Frequency and a corresponding percentage were reported for categorical data, whereas the association between knowledge of air pollution and perceptions was evaluated using the Chi-square test. Kruskal Wallis rank test was used to assess the statistical difference in knowledge, attitudes and practices. Data analysis was performed using STATA 15 and evaluated at a 5% level of significance
Results: More than half (59.4%) of the respondents thought that air pollution was a major problem, while over 90% knew that air pollution could negatively impact health. The media was found to be the main source of information for respondents (91.1%). Despite having the knowledge, less than a third (27%) of the respondents regularly took action out of concern of air pollution. There was a statistically significant association between knowledge, attitudes, and practices to air pollution (all P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Air pollution interventions targeting tertiary students should be aimed at informing them on ways in which they could contribute individually and collectively to reducing air pollution and its negative effects.