Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2018

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Monica Swahn

Second Advisor

Dr. Shannon Self-Brown


The current global orphan population is estimated to be 130 million children with a large proportion residing in sub-Saharan Africa. Children without parental influence are at increased risk for a range of health-risk behaviors including alcohol use. Despite the magnitude of the problems facing orphans, few studies have examined the prevalence of health-risk behaviors, including alcohol use, in this vulnerable population. There is also limited guidance in published work related to recommendations for future research and programs that can better meet the needs of orphans, particularly those who live in urban slums. A literature search of databases (EBSCO, PubMed, Google Scholar and Wiley Online Library) was performed using several key search terms to summarize published research. The findings show that research related to alcohol use among orphans in sub-Saharan Africa is scarce and primarily comprise youth in Uganda. The literature review on orphans and alcohol within sub-Saharan Africa suggest the need for further research. Some studies suggest the need for program implementation, alcohol prevention marketing strategies, alcohol regulation and overall education on alcohol awareness for the OVC population within sub-Saharan Africa. More research is needed to address the association between orphan status and alcohol consumption within this region.