Health Improvement by leveraging community participation; cultural experiences

Introduction: Sanitation has been defined as a constitutional right in Kenya and embodies availability, accessibility, quality and proper use (World Vision Kenya, 2016). Nomadism was found to contribute to high open defecation rates with Kajiado and Narok counties at 45.5 per cent and 50.3 per cent respectively in a study carried out by KMTC in 2016. According to WHO, the percentage of people openly defecating in Kenya stood at 12.035 in 2015 with a positive downward trend.

Objectives: a) assessing community one-health needs at the human, animal and environmental interface in Siana Cultural Boma, a) identifying priority One Health issues, c) developing and implementing sustainable interventions for hygiene improvement and d) developing monitoring and evaluation framework for the interventions.

Methods: Participatory rural appraisal was carried out with a resource map for the Siana Boma being developed by the community members. Prioritization of one health challenges was done using proportional piling. Using matrix piling tool, potential interventions were identified and the most feasible prioritized. Sensitization on the risk hazards the community is exposed to, as a result of OD, besides a demonstration of the cycle of diarrheal transmission, formed the priority interventions. Information was additionally collected by use of key informant interviews and focus group discussions. To pass the message in a simple but memorable way, a skit, charts, a slogan and interactive discussions were employed. Results and discussion: Thus, by tackling this problem of open defecation and related diseases by use of the One Health concept at the human, animal and the environment through a multidisciplinary approach, and by studying their correlations, we can reduce and hopefully eradicate infectious disease transmission through improvement, use and maintenance of pit latrines within the Siana cultural boma.

Author(s): Rashid M

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