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Knowledge, attitudes, practices and behaviours (KAPB) around water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in villagers exposed to schistosomiasis in Zimbabwe


There is paucity of comprehensive studies on social, cultural and behavioural aspects that influence and constrain toilet and borehole adoption and use in rural Africa. The objective of this study was to provide an evidence base to inform policies on increasing end-user adoption of toilets and access to safe water sources. One hundred and twenty-seven households in the Murewa district of Zimbabwe were surveyed via questionnaire to determine the social, cultural and behavioural influences that drive ownership and use of toilets and safe water sources. Rates of the water borne schistosome infection amongst pre-school aged children (PSAC) in the community were determined as a marker of the relationship between water, sanitation and health. The study showed that the community’s water and sanitation (WASH) coverage was as follows: 60.62% had access to toilets and 48% had access to boreholes. Of those with access to toilets 16% of adults and 36% of children did not use the toilets, instead they practiced open defecation. Schistosomiasis prevalence in PSAC was 42.4%, with 13% of schistosome infection being attributed to open defecation and 27% to using river water. In relating WASH to status or wealth symbols, the study showed that 34% of the adults possessed livestock and 30.7% had a mobile phone but did not have a toilet. Reasons for non-uptake of WASH and non-adherence to toilet use included lack of suitable sanitation facilities, lack of cleanliness in existing facilities, cultural factors and sub-optimal health education. An integrative approach is needed to effectively improve uptake and adherence to WASH. The use of context relevant behavioural theories and interventions is required to influence prioritisation and subsequent adherence to WASH facilities.

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Journal Article
Lampard-Scotford AR
Pfavayi L
Kasambala M
Choto E
Vengesai A
Lim R
Tagwireyi P
Banda G
Mazigo H
Mduluza T
Mutapi F
Marks S