Health risk perceptions associated with domestic use of basic water and sanitation services—Evidence from rural Ethiopia

Evaluations of WaSH interventions facilitate the improvement of global health and development policy making and implementation practice. When determining WaSH services, not only ‘hardware’ – technical and engineering aspects of WaSH – plays a role, but also ‘software’: sociological and psychological aspects, including health risk perceptions, (mis)beliefs, related behaviours, and the cultural context of WaSH. Our study among 2,650 households in rural Ethiopia showed that risk perceptions are important determinants of use of basic drinking water and sanitation services, thus motivating the application of positive WaSH-related and health-protective behaviours. This suggests that well-designed health risk communication strategies may be effective for engaging households in healthy WaSH behaviour.

Health risk perceptions are associated with domestic use of basic water and sanitation services—Evidence from rural Ethiopia. Carmen Anthonj, Lisa Fleming, Samuel Godfrey, Argaw Ambelu, Jane Bevan, Ryan Cronk and Jamie Bartram. 2018. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 15(10); 2112. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102112.