Below are links to the abstracts of 3 interesting WASH studies that can be downloaded free of charge from the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Infant and Young Child Feces Management and Enabling Products for Their Hygienic Collection, Transport, and Disposal in Cambodia
Authors: Molly K. Miller-Petrie*, Lindsay Voigt, Lyn McLennan, Sandy Cairncross and Marion W. Jenkins
Abstract/order info: http://goo.gl/o252V9
In Cambodia, children’s feces are rarely disposed of in an improved sanitation facility. This study examines current practices and the role that enabling products may play in increasing hygienic management of infant and young child (IYC) feces in households with access to improved sanitation.
A survey was conducted with the primary caregiver of a child under 5 years of age in 130 homes with an improved latrine in 21 villages across two provinces in Cambodia. Two focus group discussions per province were conducted after the survey to obtain caregiver feedback on new enabling products for hygienic management. Among caregivers, 63% reported child feces disposal in an improved latrine but only 36% reported doing so consistently.
Besides child age, years of latrine ownership, caregiver age, consistency of adult latrine use, and presence of child feces management tools in the latrine were associated with hygienic disposal. The youngest caretakers with the newest latrines and youngest children were least likely to dispose of IYC feces hygienically, representing a key target group for interventions to improve hygienic disposal in Cambodia. Reusable diapers, child-friendly potties, and possibly latrine seats, that offer child safety, time and cost savings, and easy disposal and cleaning could potentially facilitate hygienic disposal for these ages.
A Cluster Randomized Controlled Evaluation of the Health Impact of a Novel Antimicrobial Hand Towel on the Health of Children Under 2 Years Old in Rural Communities in Nyanza Province, Kenya
Authors: Rachel B. Slayton*, Jennifer L. Murphy, Jamae Morris, Sitnah Hamidah Faith, Jared Oremo, Aloyce Odhiambo, Tracy Ayers, Shawna J. Feinman, Allison C. Brown and Robert E. Quick
Abstract/order info: http://goo.gl/L76AEH
To assess the health impact of reusable, antimicrobial hand towels, we conducted a cluster randomized, yearlong field trial. At baseline, we surveyed mothers, and gave four towels plus hygiene education to intervention households and education alone to controls. At biweekly home visits, we asked about infections in children < 2 years old and tested post-handwashing hand rinse samples of 20% of mothers for Escherichia coli.
At study’s conclusion, we tested 50% of towels for E. coli. Baseline characteristics between 188 intervention and 181 control households were similar. Intervention and control children had similar rates of diarrhea (1.47 versus 1.48, P = 0.99), respiratory infections (1.38 versus 1.48, P = 0.92), skin infections (1.76 versus 1.79, P = 0.81), and subjective fever (2.62 versus 3.40, P = 0.04) per 100 person-visits.
Post-handwashing hand contamination was similar; 67% of towels exhibited E. coli contamination. Antimicrobial hand towels became contaminated over time, did not improve hand hygiene, or prevent diarrhea, respiratory infections, or skin infections.
Consistency of Use and Effectiveness of Household Water Treatment Practices Among Urban and Rural Populations Claiming to Treat Their Drinking Water at Home: A Case Study in Zambia
Authors: Ghislaine Rosa*, Paul Kelly and Thomas Clasen
Abstract/order info: http://goo.gl/ocN3bH
Household water treatment (HWT) can improve drinking water quality and prevent disease, if used correctly and consistently. While international monitoring suggests that 1.8 billion people practice HWT, these estimates are based on household surveys that may overstate the level of consistent use and do not address microbiological effectiveness.
We sought to examine how HWT is practiced among households identified as HWT users according to international monitoring standards. Case studies were conducted in urban and rural Zambia. After a baseline survey (urban: 203 households, rural: 276 households) to identify HWT users, 95 urban and 82 rural households were followed up for 6 weeks.
Consistency of HWT reporting was low; only 72.6% of urban and 50.0% of rural households reported to be HWT users in the subsequent visit. Similarly, availability of treated water was low, only 23.3% and 4.2% of urban and rural households, respectively, had treated water on all visits. Drinking water was significantly worse than source water in both settings.
Only 19.6% of urban and 2.4% of rural households had drinking water free of thermotolerant coliforms on all visits. Our findings raise questions about the value of the data gathered through the international monitoring of HWT practices as predictors of water quality in the home.