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elsevier S02779536

Available online 13 December 2011.

Abstract

Started in 2007, the Sanitation Hygiene Education and Water Supply in Bangladesh (SHEWA-B) project aims to improve the hygiene, sanitation and water supply for 20 million people in Bangladesh, and thus reduce disease among this population. This paper assesses the effectiveness of SHEWA-B on changing behaviors and reducing diarrhea and respiratory illness among children < 5 years of age. We assessed behaviors at baseline in 2007 and after 6 months and 18 months by conducting structured observation of handwashing behavior in 500 intervention and 500 control households. In addition we conducted spot checks of water and sanitation facilities in 850 intervention and 850 control households. We also collected monthly data on diarrhea and respiratory illness from 500 intervention and 500 control households from October 2007 to September 2009. Participants washed their hands with soap < 3% of the time around food related events in both intervention and control households at baseline and after 18 months. Washing both hands with soap or ash after cleaning a child's anus increased from 22% to 36%, and no access to a latrine decreased from 10% to 6.8% from baseline to 18 months. The prevalence of diarrhea and respiratory illness, among children <5 years of age were similar in intervention and control communities throughout the study. This large scale sanitation, hygiene and water improvement programme resulted in improvements in a few of its targeted behaviors, but these modest behavior changes have not yet resulted in a measurable reduction in childhood diarrhea and respiratory illness.

 

 
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