Project Example

Familia Sana Sin Diarreas, Con Agua Clorada, Latrinas y Manos Limpias (Diarrhea Prevention Reminder Card)

This card is part of a set produced by projects in Peru and Nicaragua aimed at reducing diarrheal disease incidence, even in communities with adequate latrines and piped water. It illustrates the various ways a family uses and stores water so as to minimize the possibility of diarrhea. Evaluation results after one year of behavior change activities with families in Peru included a significant decline in reports of diarrhea among children under five: from 22% at the start of the project to 9% at midterm. Safe water handling increased from 36% to 84%, and many other practices had steep improvements.

The approach followed in these projects was captured in the publication of Improving Health Through Behavior Change: A Process Guide on Hygiene Promotion (2004) ). In Peru, the project produced assessment cards, counseling cards, posters, other reminder materials, a counseling guide, photo ID cards for the promoters, leaflets, and various forms. The Peru project also developed audio dramas that were played and discussed in groups or which individuals could listen to on hand washing, latrine use, safe water, and hygiene. In addition to these communication activities, after learning about families’ difficult access to essential water and sanitation products, both the Peru and Nicaragua projects worked with communities to organize a “community store” that sold products conveniently and at low cost. The project was innovative in its design to keep track of how families, at their own pace over time, moved toward safer practices. In other words, it allowed families, hygiene promoters, and the project, to track the process of behavior change.

Source: The Manoff Group, Inc., EHPII/Pan American Health Organzation

Date of Publication: March 25, 2019