Impact of the Integration of Water Treatment and Handwashing Incentives with Antenatal Services on Hygiene Practices of Pregnant Women in Malawi

Epidemic Intelligence Service and Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene (Impact Factor: 2.7). 12/2010; 83(6):1315-21. DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.2010.10-0211
Source: PubMed


Access to safe drinking water and improved hygiene are important for reducing morbidity and mortality from diarrhea. We surveyed 330 pregnant women who participated in an antenatal clinic-based intervention in Malawi that promoted water treatment and hygiene through distribution of water storage containers, sodium hypochlorite water treatment solution, soap, and educational messages. Program participants were more likely to know correct water treatment procedures (62% versus 27%, P < 0.0001), chlorinate drinking water (61% versus 1%, P < 0.0001), demonstrate correct handwashing practices (68% versus 22%, P < 0.0001), and purchase water treatment solution after free distribution (32% versus 1%, P < 0.0001). Among participants, 72% had at least three antenatal visits, 76% delivered in a health facility, and 54% had a postnatal check. This antenatal-clinic-based program is an effective new strategy for promoting water treatment and hygiene behaviors among pregnant women. Participants had high use of antenatal, delivery, and postnatal services, which could improve maternal and child health.

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    • "The initiative focused on key hygiene improvement interventions including treatment and safe storage of water at the household level and bottles of WaterGuard TM along with a water storage bucket were distributed to pregnant women. An increase in the number of women who had heard about WaterGuard TM , treated their water correctly with WaterGuard TM , and stored their drinking water correctly was observed a year later during follow-up (Sheth et al., 2010 "
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