CHAPTER 7: Prevalence of Alcohol Use and the Mental Health Status of Taxi Drivers In Lagos, Nigeria by Olutope E. Akinnawo & Francis C. Uzonwanne


Taxi driving is an age long profession that has travelled down generations of families. It is an essential aspect of human existence and development. Everywhere development persists, there is a need to convey people from one point to another and as expansion takes place, people work, conduct business and carry out visits even further and further away from their point of residence. Although there are several ways of conveying people today, in the way of public transport, the taxi arguably remains the most civilized and acceptable means of transportation.
Within Nigeria, visitors visiting new towns for the first time for business or otherwise will typically take a taxi to their destinations. The taxi driver therefore becomes their first contact and invariably the first ambassador to the city. Lagos state is no different but quite necessary for research. being the commercial hub for Nigeria and positioning as the commercial hub for West Africa and indeed Africa. According to Bello et al.(2011b), “about 10% of the population consumes more than 70% of alcohol”. Bello et al (2011b) report that in sub-Saharan Africa, drivers of commercial vehicles are a notable high-risk drinkers with prevalence of use ranging from two-thirds to over four-fifth keeping in mind that alcohol intoxication impairs judgment. It was also reported that those studies revealed that alcohol was a factor in about 50% of drivers‘ death in road traffic accidents in South Africa and 27% accidents in which the driver was not killed (Bello et al, 201 lb). Alcohol intake was the most significant determinant of gastrointestinal symptoms in taxi drivers (Bawa & Srivastav, 2013) and was also found to be a risk factor in depression among the same population (Bawa & Srivastav, 2013; Shattell et al.,2012. In this study the prevalence of alcohol use and the mental health status of taxi drivers was examined.