201823 Household Water Treatment among Flood Affected Populations in Teso Region, Uganda

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 8:30 AM

Muna Shalita , Maternal and Child Health, PSI/Uganda, Kampala, Uganda
Dennis Kakooza , Maternal and Child Health, PSI/Uganda, Kampala, Uganda
Cecilia Kwak, MPH , Child Survival, Population Services International (PSI), Washington, DC
Justin Buszin , Population Services International, Washington, DC
Background: Heavy rains and flooding in 2007 compromised sanitation, hygiene and water sources in eastern Uganda for communities in the Teso region, many of whom already lacked access to basic sanitation. In response to the emergency, PSI/Uganda, in partnership with UNICEF and local health agencies, distributed Non-Food Item kits (one long-lasting insecticide treated net, water purification products, soap, water storage vessels, and Information-Education-Communication materials) and conducted complementary communication activities in four districts: Amuria, Katakwi, Kumi, and Bukedea.

Methods: Distribution was coordinated through the use of trained village health teams and local distribution points, and communication messages through presentations at distribution points, radio, and films. A cross-sectional household survey was conducted at the end of the three month distribution program.

Results: In total, 38,832 households received kits. Nearly all households were doing something to improve the quality of their drinking water, with 57.9% purifying their water with WaterGuard tabs, with treatment ranging from 27.0% (Kumi) to 68.9% (Katakwi). The major reason for discontinuation of use was that the product had run out. Among all individuals surveyed, one-third of individuals surveyed knew the correct steps to use the WaterGuard tab. Knowledge was higher among current users of the product, with 39.5% demonstrating correct use of the WaterGuard tab.

Conclusions and Recommendations: Individuals in disaster-struck communities can be effectively reached with needed water purification products utilizing local distribution teams and points, but more communication programs are needed to ensure the correct use of water treatment products.

Learning Objectives:
Describe distribution and communications plans of Non-Food Item kits to effectively reach individuals in disaster-struck communities.

Keywords: Water, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principle investigator for safe water research for the NGO, Population Services International. I also have an MA from Brown University in Sociology and will be getting my PhD before the end of 2009. I am a co-author on a publication about e. coli in drinking water in the Central Region of Ghana. This article was published in the Journal of Water and Health.
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.