Evaluation of a WASH intervention demonstrates the potential for improved hygiene practices in Hiri District, Central Province

Suparat Phuanukoonnon, Elias Namosha, Lydia Kua, Peter M. Siba, Andrew R. Greenhill

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Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions aim to improve health outcomes through provision of safe water supplies and improved sanitation facilities, while also promoting better hygiene practices in communities. Population Services International introduced a WASH intervention project in the Hiri District, Central Province in May 2012. Shortly after its introduction we conducted a survey to determine the uptake of the intervention and gauge its impact. We invited 400 households to participate in the study, which consisted of a questionnaire for the head of the household. A total of 395 questionnaires were completed: 314 from households that had participated in the WASH intervention and 81 that had not (controls). Results demonstrated that improved water sources were not routinely used, with a high dependence on well and surface water. While self-reported handwashing was common, use of soap was not common. Treatment of water inside the house was common in the intervention group (95%), compared to 49% in the non-WASH group. The study indicates that people in the Hiri District are supportive of a WASH intervention, with good uptake of some aspects of the intervention. The sustainability of the intervention remains unknown. Targetted interventions focusing on community priorities might be beneficial in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-135
Number of pages10
JournalPapua and New Guinea Medical Journal
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

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