Joseph R. Mwanga 1 , Godfrey M. Kaatano 1 , Julius E. Siza 1 , Su Young Chang 2 , Yunsuk Ko 2 , Cyril M. Kullaya 2 , Jackson Nsabo 2 , Keeseon S. Eom 3 , * , Tai-Soon Yong 4 , Jong-Yil Chai 5 , Duk-Young Min 6 , Han-Jong Rim 7 , John M. Changalucha 1
29 October 2015
Research on micro-level assessment of the changes of socio-economic status following health interventions is very scarce. The use of household asset data to determine wealth indices is a common procedure for estimating socio-economic position in resource poor settings. In such settings information about income is usually lacking, and the collection of individual consumption or expenditure data would require in-depth interviews, posing a considerable risk of bias. In this study, we determined the socio-economic status of 213 households in a community population in an island in the north-western Tanzania before and 3 year after implementation of a participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation (PHAST) intervention to control schistosomiasis and intestinal worm infections. We constructed a household 'wealth index' based housing construction features (e.g., type of roof, walls, and floor) and durable assets ownership (e.g., bicycle, radio, etc.). We employed principal components analysis and classified households into wealth quintiles. The study revealed that asset variables with positive factor scores were associated with higher socio-economic status, whereas asset variables with negative factor scores were associated with lower socio-economic status. Overall, households which were rated as the poorest and very poor were on the decrease, whereas those rated as poor, less poor, and the least poor were on the increase after PHAST intervention. This decrease/increase was significant. The median shifted from -0.4376677 to 0.5001073, and the mean from -0.2605787 (SD; 2.005688) to 0.2605787 (SD; 1.831199). The difference in socio-economic status of the people between the 2 phases was highly statistically significant ( P<0.001). We argue that finding of this study should be treated with caution as there were other interventions to control schistosomiasis and intestinal worm infections which were running concurrently on Kome Island apart from PHAST intervention.