Online Program

Using a community participatory approach to assess health through a water, sanitation and hygiene sustainability project

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Arti Desai, MPH, PhD(s), Department of Global Health School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Ryan Gene Gaia Sinclair, PhD, MPH, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Loma Linda, CA
D. Scott Rawson, BS, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA Lao PDR), Vientiane, Laos
Thelma Gamboa, DrPH, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Background: Laotians face significant challenges in the delivery of sustainable and equitable access to water and sanitation in rural areas. Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WaSH) for Health is a health promotion program created for rural populations which addresses health and hygiene problems related to water and sanitation with the goal of improving the health of families, coupled with positive health behavior changes through regular health promotion, evaluation, community contribution and ownership. Methods: A community-based participatory approach utilizing a needs and assets assessment was conducted in Northern Laos with the intent of gaining a greater understanding of the health determinants underlying the poor health of local villagers. A quantitative study of eight villages consisting of key informant interviews with village chiefs, (n= 8) and focus groups with villagers (n= 371) were conducted. Villagers were also asked to create community maps to identify health centers, water sources, toilets, and schools. A prioritization chart narrowed down village concerns to three and linguistically, culturally and socially appropriate focus group questions inquiring about health practices, water collection and latrine facilities reflected the true needs of the community. Results: Data analyzed using grounded theory resulted in emerging themes. Northern Laotians identified and prioritized 1) clean water, 2) latrines, and 3) fully functional health centers as their top three needs. Conclusions: In addition to improving health status, this project also contributes to achieving the Millennium Development Goal for water and sanitation of halving, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe water and basic sanitation.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Explain the importance of using a community-based participatory approach in gathering appropriate community identified issues in Northern Laos. List three tools used to gather culturally appropriate information in order to form the best possible intervention that is also sustainable.

Keyword(s): International Public Health, Community-Based Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator and author on this project. in addition, my interests lie in Global Health and creating sustainable community-based interventions programs and interventions in a local and international setting.
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.