197055 T" (Water)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bessie Tom, SCHW , Navajo Nation Division of Health, Kayenta Public Health Nursing, Kayenta, AZ
Sarah Fatt, Sr Community Health Worker , Kayenta, CHR Outreach, Navajo Nation Division of Health, Kayenta, AZ
Mae-Gilene Begay, MSW , Community Health Representative/Outreach Program, Navajo Nation Division of Health, Window Rock, AZ
“Water”; the most essential element of life, especially to people whose traditional home is the desert. It is the life blood of our Mother Earth and is the very foundation of all life on the planet.

Water contaminants of concern were identified through a random investigation performed by an interagency working group studying unregulated water sources in the northern part of the Navajo Indian Reservation.

The study was conducted in five of the 110 Recognized Chapters of the Navajo Nation. Community Health Workers (CHWs) made visits to 300 randomly selected homes. Of the participants 50% were age 50 and older, 50% lived at the present home-site at least 15 years, and 38% hauled drinking water to their home from a public source; 13% of those from natural springs and 38% from a livestock water source.

Participants were asked to complete a household survey questionnaire that included sanitation information, and general health status. Global Positioning Satellite readings were taken to record the precise location of the home. A urine sample was requested from one member of each household and tested for heavy metal as well as uranium and arsenic specification. Drinking water was sampled for metals and bacteria, photos were taken of the equipment used to store and haul water. Air specimens were also collected.

Preliminary results are expected to be available in March and April 2009. Staff will attend training to prepare them to disseminate the information to the community officials and members of the public.

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the need for improved infrastructure to provide clean drinking water to reservation home sites.

Keywords: Drinking Water Quality, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a participating as an investigator to share information on water quality with other professionals interested in health disparities.
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.