Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2012 Dec 12.
Long-term Impact of Integration of Household Water Treatment and Hygiene Promotion with Antenatal Services on Maternal Water Treatment and Hygiene Practices in Malawi.
Loharikar A, Russo E, Sheth A, Menon M, Kudzala A, Tauzie B, Masuku HD, Ayers T, Hoekstra RM, Quick R.
Epidemic Intelligence Service, and Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; United Nations Children’s Fund-Malawi, Lilongwe, Malawi; Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi.
A clinic-based program to integrate antenatal services with distribution of hygiene kits including safe water storage containers, water treatment solution (brand name WaterGuard), soap, and hygiene education, was implemented in Malawi in 2007 and evaluated in 2010. We surveyed 389 participants at baseline in 2007, and found and surveyed 232 (60%) participants to assess water treatment, test stored drinking water for residual chlorine (an objective measure of treatment), and observe handwashing technique at follow-up in 2010.
Program participants were more likely to know correct water treatment procedures (67% versus 36%; P < 0.0001), treat drinking water with WaterGuard (24% versus.2%; P < 0.0001), purchase and use WaterGuard (21% versus 1%; P < 0.001), and demonstrate correct handwashing technique (50% versus 21%; P < 0.001) at the three-year follow-up survey than at baseline. This antenatal-clinic-based program may have contributed to sustained water treatment and proper handwashing technique among program participants.