229906 Gaining access to safe water for families affected by HIV: Influencing WASH programming and policy

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Eleonore Fosso Seumo, Dr , Global Health Population and Nutrition, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC
Sandra Callier, MA , Academy for Educational Development, Washington DC, DC
Julia Rosenbaum, ScM , Hygiene Improvement Project, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC
Mary Marandu, BS , Tanzanian Marketing and Communications Company Limited, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Background: Access to safe drinking water is a basic human right, yet many of the world's poor still lack access to safe water and basic sanitation. The poor are disproportionately affected by HIV, and their entire family left even more vulnerable to diarrheal diseases. PLHIV and their families have increased water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs. Addressing PLHIV's WASH needs help prevent water borne and diarrheal diseases, and leave affected families more resilient. Method: The project worked with HIV and WASH programs in four zones of Tanzania to design and carry out a six week-participatory assessment with PLHIV and their families to develop concrete WASH effective and feasible options. The method identified a set of “small doable actions” as well as perceived benefits, motivations, and constraints and solutions to incorporate into community-based programming. Results: The research findings generated a wealth of information on the WASH practices and needs of this special group, and specific feasible solutions that are tested for effectiveness and acceptability. Community-based organizations actively participated in research and program development, and then effectively reached out to improve WASH practices and overall quality of life. Conclusions: The findings of the research help bring the voice of PLHIV in designing WASH programs and policies to meet the WASH needs of the poor. The findings help advocate for a more comprehensive HIV programming and policies that help PLHIV improve their WASH practices.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Environmental health sciences
Program planning
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Demonstrate how a simple participatory research method can provide voice to the most vulnerable when assessing WASH needs of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in four ecological zones of Tanzania. 2. Describe how research findings lead to innovative programming approaches and influence WASH and HIV programming and policy.

Keywords: Access, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the lead researcher in the project.
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.