211713 Uncovering the infectious disease burden and socio-cultural determinants of water use and health in a rural community in the Dominican Republic

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cherie S. Blair, BS, BA, MPH(c) , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University - Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Fernando Ona, PhD, MPH , Department of Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Zobeida Bonilla-Vega, MPH, Ph D , Massachusetts Department of Public Health, F.O.R. Families Program, Boston, MA
Paul D. Edwards, MD , Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Rural communities in the Dominican Republic have experienced significant economic and touristic growth. In this context, access to water is crucial for everyday life and for the sustainability of an established agricultural economy and an emerging tourist industry. Using a mixed-methods design, this cross-sectional, observational descriptive study in a northwestern municipality in the country will investigate: (1) water quality and infectious disease morbidity, (2) sociocultural determinants of environmental health exposures related to water among community members; and (3) the relationship between the three most prevalent communicable diseases and water utilization. A case series will be conducted with randomly selected medical records from the main hospital. Water sampling will occur randomly throughout the community for coliform testing; samples will be plated with Coliscan Easygel, an EPA-approved method of E. coli and coliform testing. Results from water sampling will be integrated into a GIS to map the spatial distance of the reported infectious diseases with a creek in the community along which families have settled following internal migration patterns resulting from economic growth in the region. This study seeks to determine if there is a relationship between reported cases of communicable disease and the creek. Findings from this study will inform community health education and public health interventions.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the socio-cultural determinants of water use and infectious disease in a rural community in the Dominican Republic 2. Translate these findings into community health education efforts and public health interventions

Keywords: Global Education, Infectious Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have several years of experience in conducting research.
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.