195992 Uganda: Successful field research improves hygiene practices among persons living with HIV/AIDS

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Phoebe Kasoga, MPH , Water and Sanitation Program, Plan Uganda, Kampala, Uganda
Brendon Barnes, PhD; MSocSc , School of Human and Community Development, Psychology Dept, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Wits 2050, South Africa
Elizabeth Booziotis Younger , The Manoff Group/USAID- HIP, Washington, DC
Xavier Nsabagasani, Mr , Northern Uganda Transition Initiative, Gulu, Uganda
Laban E. Tsuma, MBchB, MPH , Child Survival Unit, Plan, Arlington, VA
Programs addressing needs of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) put little emphasis on hygiene and sanitation. Diarrhea, a common cause of illness and death among PLWHAs, is largely related to lack of proper water, santitation and hygiene.

Qualitative research was conducted in Ugandan households with PLWHAs in urban and rural communities to assess their sanitation and hygiene situation. The research found that PLWHAs and their caregivers were not washing their hands before handling medication, feeding patients and after using a latrine; and even when they washed they rarely used soap. Many caregivers were handling, feces, soiled linen and menstrual blood with bare hands. People were drinking untreated water that was sometimes stored in dirty and open containers.

Based on their results, Trials of Improved Practices (TIPs) were designed, i.e. small doable actions which improved behaviors on handwashing, feces management, water treatment and storage and management of menstrual blood. TIPs were an initial step to try and integrate hygiene improvement into HIV/AIDS programming. After their implementation, households made tippy taps and used soap or ash for hand washing before giving patients medication and food, and after caregivers used latrines; stored drinking water in narrow neck containers; boiled or chlorinated their drinking water; those without latrines disposed feces in a public or neighbors latrines; and caregivers started using gloves for protecting their hands.

This method is being considered for similar programs operated by home based care providers througout Uganda.

Learning Objectives:
To identify methods to assess the hygiene practices in PLHWA’s and their households. To identify methods to introduce and test modifications which will improve these practices..

Keywords: HIV Interventions, Water

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I led the project described in the abstract
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.

See more of: HIV in International Settings
See more of: HIV/AIDS