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      Drinking Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Promotion Interventions in Two Slum Communities in Central Uganda


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          Poor water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) continue to contribute to the high prevalence of diarrhoeal diseases in low-income countries such as Uganda particularly in slums. We implemented a 3-year WASH project in two urban slums in Uganda with a focus on safe drinking water and improvement in sanitation. The project implemented community and school interventions in addition to capacity building initiatives. Community interventions included home improvement campaigns, clean-up exercises, water quality assessment, promotion of drinking safe water through household point-of-use chlorination, promotion of hand washing, and support towards solid waste management. In schools, the project supported health clubs and provided them with “talking compound” messages. The capacity building initiatives undertaken included training of youth and community health workers. Project evaluation revealed several improvements in WASH status of the slums including increase in piped water usage from 38% to 86%, reduction in use of unprotected water sources from 30% to 2%, reduction in indiscriminate disposal of solid waste from 18% to 2%, and increase in satisfaction with solid waste management services from 40% to 92%. Such proactive and sustainable community interventions have the potential to not only improve lives of slum inhabitants in developing countries but also create lasting impact.

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          Water, sanitation and hygiene for the prevention of diarrhoea

          Background Ever since John Snow’s intervention on the Broad St pump, the effect of water quality, hygiene and sanitation in preventing diarrhoea deaths has always been debated. The evidence identified in previous reviews is of variable quality, and mostly relates to morbidity rather than mortality. Methods We drew on three systematic reviews, two of them for the Cochrane Collaboration, focussed on the effect of handwashing with soap on diarrhoea, of water quality improvement and of excreta disposal, respectively. The estimated effect on diarrhoea mortality was determined by applying the rules adopted for this supplement, where appropriate. Results The striking effect of handwashing with soap is consistent across various study designs and pathogens, though it depends on access to water. The effect of water treatment appears similarly large, but is not found in few blinded studies, suggesting that it may be partly due to the placebo effect. There is very little rigorous evidence for the health benefit of sanitation; four intervention studies were eventually identified, though they were all quasi-randomized, had morbidity as the outcome, and were in Chinese. Conclusion We propose diarrhoea risk reductions of 48, 17 and 36%, associated respectively, with handwashing with soap, improved water quality and excreta disposal as the estimates of effect for the LiST model. Most of the evidence is of poor quality. More trials are needed, but the evidence is nonetheless strong enough to support the provision of water supply, sanitation and hygiene for all.
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            Interventions to improve water quality for preventing diarrhoea: systematic review and meta-analysis.

            To assess the effectiveness of interventions to improve the microbial quality of drinking water for preventing diarrhoea. Systematic review. Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group's trials register, CENTRAL, Medline, Embase, LILACS; hand searching; and correspondence with experts and relevant organisations. Randomised and quasirandomised controlled trials of interventions to improve the microbial quality of drinking water for preventing diarrhoea in adults and in children in settings with endemic disease. Allocation concealment, blinding, losses to follow-up, type of intervention, outcome measures, and measures of effect. Pooled effect estimates were calculated within the appropriate subgroups. 33 reports from 21 countries documenting 42 comparisons were included. Variations in design, setting, and type and point of intervention, and variations in defining, assessing, calculating, and reporting outcomes limited the comparability of study results and pooling of results by meta-analysis. In general, interventions to improve the microbial quality of drinking water are effective in preventing diarrhoea. Effectiveness was not conditioned on the presence of improved water supplies or sanitation in the study setting and was not enhanced by combining the intervention with instructions on basic hygiene, a water storage vessel, or improved sanitation or water supplies--other common environmental interventions intended to prevent diarrhoea. Interventions to improve water quality are generally effective for preventing diarrhoea in all ages and in under 5s. Significant heterogeneity among the trials suggests that the level of effectiveness may depend on a variety of conditions that research to date cannot fully explain.
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              The potential of schoolchildren as health change agents in rural western Kenya.

              A prospective, quasi-experimental study was carried out in Bondo district in western Kenya to determine the potential of schoolchildren as health change agents in a rural community. A group of 40 schoolchildren were given health education using action-oriented and participatory approaches and their knowledge and practices as well as the influence on recipient groups consisting of peers at school and parents/guardians at home, were studied. The study, which used questionnaire surveys, involved a pre-test of knowledge about malaria, diarrhea and hygiene among the recipient groups. After the baseline surveys they underwent health communication training conducted by the 40 schoolchildren. An identical post-test questionnaire was administered to all participants at 4 and 14 months. Health-related practices were studied regularly through observation in schools and homes over 14 months. Significant improvement in knowledge was detected in all recipient groups. Behavioral changes were more evident among the children than among the adults. The impact of the project was reflected in concrete changes in the school environment as well as the home environments. The implications of the findings for health education projects and public health programs are outlined.

                Author and article information

                J Environ Public Health
                J Environ Public Health
                Journal of Environmental and Public Health
                28 January 2018
                : 2018
                1Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
                2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
                3Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY, USA
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Suminori Akiba

                Copyright © 2018 David Musoke et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Funded by: American Council on Education
                Award ID: AEG-A-00-05-00007-00
                Research Article

                Public health


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