The Development of a Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Training Manual for Community Health Workers in Low Resource Arid Regions: A Special Studies Project Open Access

Patel, Nisha (Spring 2022)

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Background: The Kenyan-based non-profit Riruta United Women Empowerment Programme is launching a WASH program for rural Kenyan communities. They have requested the development of a WASH training manual for community health workers (CHWs) that live in arid regions and lack access to safe water. There is a need for community members to be trained as community health workers on the topic of WASH in arid areas in countries such as Kenya to reduce the occurrence of water-based diseases.


Methods: A literature review was conducted using the databases Google Scholar, Web of Science, and PubMed. The studies in the literature review are a mix of cross-sectional studies, systemic reviews, and journal articles. Only articles in English were included. Some keywords that were used for research were WASH, community health workers, invest, arid regions, health programs, inadequate WASH, knowledge, attitudes, and practices, community health, investment, and health outcomes. The keywords were used in many combinations.


Results: A WASH training manual was created to train community members by community health workers. The training manual addresses how water can be treated at household levels so that it can be made safer for consumption. A resource guide was also developed for the trainers so that it provides them with more education on the methods and issues that they will be training community members on.


Conclusion: The training manual provides the trainees an opportunity to engage with the material through activities, discussions, and demonstrations. The training manual is a start to developing a comprehensive WASH training program. Investment in CHWs to advance and create a full WASH program is needed. Investment in CHWs has been found to be a resourceful and effective way to provide health education in communities where that is a gap in resources. Investing in small-scale and local programs can be an effective method of increasing WASH knowledge and influencing WASH practices.

Table of Contents

Introduction    1


Literature Review


Overview    2


Impact of Lack of Adequate Water     3


Sources of Unclean Water    4


Importance of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices    5


WASH Program Successes    6


Impact of Community Health Workers   7-8


Need for Investment in Community Health Workers    9


Community Health Workers in WASH Programs    10




Introduction   11


Ethical Consideration  11


Literature Review Topics   12




Training Manual Structure  12




Strengths   13


Limitations   14


Recommendations 15


Public Health Implications   15-16


References  17-19

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