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Assessing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Access and Use in Nabilatuk District, Uganda: A Cross-Sectional Study of Different Data Collection Methods


Good access and appropriate use of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is important in the control, elimination and eradication of a number of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Poor WASH access and use may explain continued high trachoma prevalence in Nabilatuk district, Uganda. This study aimed to investigate the level of WASH access and use through different WASH data collection methods and the triangulation of their results. A mixed-methods cross-sectional study was conducted in 30 households in Nabilatuk district, from 10 households in each of three nomadic villages. The data collection methods used were: (1) direct observations of routine WASH behaviours; (2) structured quantitative household questionnaires; (3) demonstrations of specific WASH behaviours. With regards to access, observations indicated less WASH access and use compared with questionnaire responses: the questionnaire indicated all households had access to an improved water source, but 70% had a >30-min round-trip, and no households had access to an improved latrine, whereas some observations indicated longer water collection times. In terms of behaviour, there were also differences between the data collection methods, with demonstrations revealing knowledge of good practice, such as thorough handwashing, but this was not routinely observed in the observations. Further systematic investigation of barriers to appropriate WASH access and use in the local context is needed, as is the development of feasible, valid and reliable WASH access and use assessment methods for use in national NTD programmes.

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Journal Article
Colding-Jørgensen JT
Muheki E
Baayenda G
Harding-Esch E