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Community Knowledge and Practice on Sanitation, Hygiene and Household Water Utilization in Afabet City, Northern Red Sea Zone of Eritrea: Cross Sectional Study

Author(s): Berhe Tesfai, Hagos Milkyas, Meron Goitom, Hermon Berhe, Asrat Amine, Fitsum Kibreab

Background: Water and sanitation entitles the human right to affordable access and sanitation. The objective of this study was to determine the knowledge and practice on sanitation, hygiene and water utilization and to estimate the prevalence of diarrhea in Afabet city.

Methods: A descriptive community-based study with a multistage cluster sampling technique was used. Twelve clusters were selected from the city and 30 households were nominated from each cluster. Then, a total of 360 individuals were sampled and every family head was interviewed. A structured interviewer administered questionnaire and field observation was used from December 05-21, 2020. Cross tabulation and association of variables using chi-square test was used.

Results: A total of 360 respondents were enrolled with females (75.3%) and Muslin (99.0%) predominance. About 66.2% and 66.9% of them were satisfied with the amount and quality of water they received respectively. The prevalence of diarrhea in the community in the last six months of 2020 was 13.0%. The investigators practically approved that 90.7% of the communities revealed functional toilets, and feces were observed in 5.7% of the living area of the community. The community’s comprehensive knowledge and practice was 99.4% and 93.0% respectively, and showed significant association with their age, sex, marital status, level of education and distance to water source (p<0.001). Furthermore, their knowledge, practice, prevalence of diarrhea, presence of latrine, distance to water source and hand washing practice were significantly associated with the administrative area of study participants (p<0.001).

Conclusion: The community had good level of knowledge, practice and the prevalence of diarrhea was relatively low. Latrines were highly utilized but the usage of soap, personal and food hygiene was slightly low. Their practice, prevalence of diarrhea, distance to municipality water source and hand washing practice was associated to the administrative areas. Enhancing environmental sanitation, personal hygiene and provision of adequate and clean water are highly recommended.

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