192889 School based model for a water, sanitation, and hygiene program in Guatemala

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kelly Kreisler, MD , Center for Child Health & Development, Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
A. Paula Cupertino, PhD , Department of Preventive Medicine, Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
Jorge Coromac , Latin American Programs, Heart to Heart International, Olathe, KS
Won Choi, PhD, MPH , Dept of Preventive Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
Background: Every day diarrhea caused by poor sanitation kills 5,000 infants and children. The WHO estimates that 94% of all diarrheal cases are preventable by increasing the availability of clean water, and improving sanitation and hygiene. In Guatemala, respiratory illness and diarrhea are the leading causes of death in children. Methods: Based in Kansas, Heart to Heart International is an international humanitarian organization that frequently partners with local NGOs. The overarching program goal is to improve the health of target populations in Sololá, Guatemala. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was used to design the program. Results: All seven schools had E. coli detected in the drinking water at baseline. BioSand filters were installed in these schools and informational sessions were held with 26 school health committee members. E. coli in the drinking water has been reduced by 80%. Thirty four individuals were trained on filter maintenance. In addition, teachers have implemented more hand washing education and washing hands with soap before eating school snack. Barriers most frequently identified through a combination of surveys and unstructured interviews were lack of soap and inadequate hand washing facilities. Sanitation improvements have been made at participating schools. Heart to Heart has also provided hand washing materials based on the data collected. Conclusions: This project serves as a sustainable model for school based water, sanitation, and hygiene programs. By partnering with trusted local people and agencies, Heart to Heart is guiding this intervention while educating and empowering local stakeholders to continue the program.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the impact of hand washing on public health. Identify advantages and disadvantages of a biosand water filter. Replicate a school-based model for water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions.

Keywords: International Public Health, Drinking Water Quality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This abstract describes the work that I completed for my capstone project for my MPH at Kanas University Medical Center. In addition, I have been a practicing pediatrician for approximately 7 years. I am currently a pediatric fellow at the Center for Child Health & Development.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.