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2021 UNC Water and Health Conference Updates


Featured Publications

Budgeting for Environmental Health Services in HCFs

Despite their critical importance, environmental health services (EHS) in health care facilities (HCFs) remain underfunded in many countries, in part due to lack of appropriate costing measures. We present a model to guide budgeting for EHS in HCFs, including ten steps in three phases: planning, data collection, and synthesis. Based on 47 studies selected through a systematic review, we identified discrete budgeting steps, developed codes to define each step, and ordered steps into the model; we also identified good practices based on a review of additional selected guidelines for costing EHS and HCFs.

World Vision 14-Country WaSH evaluation

In 2017, World Vision and the Water Institute at UNC conducted an evaluation of WV’s water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) programs in 14 countries. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the status of WaSH service delivery in households, at water points, and in schools and healthcare facilities (HCFs). Data collection occurred in 2017 in Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Indicators, surveys, manuals, results, and reports from this project are available on a Water Institute web page.

Systematic review of external support programs

External support programs (ESPs) – which may include administrative, financial, and technical assistance – have been hypothesized to contribute to sustainable rural water services. While there are many descriptions of ESPs, a standard terminology and typology of ESP activities does not exist and the effect of ESP activities on system sustainability remains inadequately characterized. We conducted a systematic review of ESPs for rural drinking water systems to identify ESP terminology and describe ESP activities.

Risk perceptions determine use of WaSH. Photo by Samuel Godfrey

Risk Perceptions Associated with Health-Promoting Behaviours

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.

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