Original Research

Barriers to the provision of smoking cessation intervention/services: A mixed-methods study among health care workers in Zambezi region, Namibia

Sylvia K. Mahoto, Honore K. Mitonga, Olanrewaju Oladimeji
Journal of Public Health in Africa | Vol 14, No 2 | a230 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2023.1992 | © 2024 Sylvia K. Mahoto, Honore K. Mitonga, Olanrewaju Oladimeji | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 April 2024 | Published: 28 February 2023

About the author(s)

Sylvia K. Mahoto, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Science, University of Namibia, Oshakati Campus, Namibia
Honore K. Mitonga, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Science, University of Namibia, Oshakati Campus, Namibia
Olanrewaju Oladimeji, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa; and, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Botswana, Botswana

Full Text:



Background:  Healthcare workers (HCWs) can play a significant role in tobacco prevention by delivering smoking cessation (SC) interventions to patients who smoke.

Objective:  To identify and explore the perceived barriers which prevent healthcare workers from delivering SC counselling to patients in Zambezi region, Namibia.

Methods:  A regional-based, concurrent mixed-methods study was conducted between March and October 2020 among HCWs of the 8 constituencies of Zambezi region, Namibia. In the study, 129 respondents, who had been residents of the selected constituencies for over 5 years and aged between 17 to 60 years, participated.

Results: 129 respondents participated in the study. Majority of respondents were females (62.9% and 68.1%) compared to (37.1% and 31.9%) males. The mean age of respondents was 35.91 (SD=9.3) and 36.61 (SD=8.7) respectively and their ages ranged between 18 and 59 years. Key barriers were identified: (i) HCWs- based barriers included lack of time to provide SC, inadequate training and insufficient knowledge on SC interventions; (ii) sys- tem-based barriers identified lack of SC guidelines and educational materials for patients, and specialists to refer patients; and (iii) patient/client-based barriers included lack of patient interest in SC information, patients not adhering to advise given on SC.

Conclusions:  This study showed that SC delivery in Zambezi region is inadequate. Barriers were identified regarding the delivery of SC intervention for the first time. Targeted SC interventions are required to combat these identified specific barriers. There is a crucial need to improve HCWs skills and knowledge in providing SC intervention.


Barriers; Zambezi region; Health care workers; Smoking cessation strategies; Cigarette smoking


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Crossref Citations

1. Healthcare providers’ knowledge, attitudes and practices on smoking cessation intervention in the Northern Cape
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