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A retrospective study on cholera understanding and WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) behavior among adolescents in three regions of La Gonâve, Haiti

 

Backgrounds: This study assesses the impact of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) interventions on cholera understanding and hygiene practices in La Gonâve Island, Haiti. It examines the changes after implementing interventions in seven villages across the Downtown, Mountain, and Seaside regions.

Methods: A retrospective investigation surveyed 210 school students from each region using a validated questionnaire. It assessed knowledge, attitudes, practices (KAP), and environmental aspects related to cholera and hygiene. Data analysis involved descriptive statistics and chi-square tests.

Results: The study highlights significant disparities in education levels, toilet ownership, and healthcare access. Challenges in finding public toilets (86.67%) and accessing water sources (67.78%) are consistent across regions, with Seaside facing financial constraints (85.00%) and water cost concerns (91.67%). Attitudes toward hygiene vary, with the Mountain region having the highest ‘Never’ responses for handwashing (38.89%), and Downtown leading in water treatment practices (11.67%). There is a strong willingness to share health knowledge, particularly in Downtown (100.00%). Seaside (83.33%) and Downtown (73.33%) revealed a higher cholera awareness, while nearly half of Mountain students lacked knowledge (54.44%).

Conclusions: This study highlights significant disparities in WASH practices among La Gonâve’s adolescents in Downtown, Mountain, and Seaside regions. Urgent interventions are crucial for improving sanitation, ensuring clean water access, and implementing targeted hygiene education, especially in the resource-constrained Mountain and Seaside areas. The findings underscore the vital roles of adolescents and schools in disseminating knowledge, with further research needed to explore intervention differences.

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