Developing a contextually appropriate integrated hygiene intervention to achieve sustained reductions in diarrheal diseases

Morse, Tracy and Chidziwisano, Kondwani and Tilley, Elizabeth and Malolo, Rossanie and Kumwenda, Save and Musaya, Janelisa and Cairncross, Sandy (2019) Developing a contextually appropriate integrated hygiene intervention to achieve sustained reductions in diarrheal diseases. Sustainability, 11 (17). 4656. ISSN 2071-1050

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    Abstract

    Diarrheal disease in under-five children remains high in Sub-Saharan Africa; primarily attributed to environmental pathogen exposure through poorly managed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) pathways, including foods. This formative study in rural Malawi used a theoretical base to determine the personal, social, environmental, and psychosocial factors that are to be considered in the development of an integrated intervention for WASH and food hygiene. Using a mixed methods approach, a stakeholder analysis was followed by data collection pertaining to 1079 children between the ages of four to 90 weeks: observations (n = 79); assessment of risks, attitudes, norms and self-regulation (RANAS) model (n = 323); structured questionnaires (n = 1000); focus group discussions (n = 9); and, in-depth interviews (n = 9) (PACTR201703002084166). We identified four thematic areas for the diarrheal disease intervention: hand washing with soap; food hygiene; feces management (human and animal); and, water management. The contextual issues included: the high level of knowledge on good hygiene practices not reflected in observed habits; inclusion of all family members incorporating primary caregivers (female) and financial controllers (male); and, endemic poverty as a significant barrier to hygiene infrastructure and consumable availability. The psychosocial factors identified for intervention development included social norms, abilities, and self-regulation. The resulting eight-month context specific intervention to be evaluated is described.