Original Research

Health aspects of sanitation among Eastern Cape (EC) rural communities, South Africa

N Phaswana-Mafuya
Curationis | Vol 29, No 2 | a1072 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v29i2.1072 | © 2006 N Phaswana-Mafuya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2006 | Published: 28 September 2006

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N Phaswana-Mafuya, Chief Research Manager, Human Sciences Resources Council, South Africa

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Abstract

A descriptive study was conducted to determine the health aspects of sanitation among rural communities of the EC. A purposive sample of 145 villagers was drawn from 14 villages selected through systematic random sampling. Of these, 71 were male and 74 were female. The 145 participants were divided into 14 groups (M = 10 participants) by community and randomly assigned to 14 community-based trained facilitators. Each facilitator administered Dunker’s (2001) KAP tool for hygiene to the assigned group. The responses from all the groups were collated and analysed. Communities’ health was generally not considered good (78.6%) because of limited clean water, lack of money to treat water and unhealthy food. The prevalence of diseases in the last 6 months, included: skin diseases, worms, eye infections, diarrhoea, bilharzias and malaria; the perceived causes of diseases were mainly related to poor sanitation and the suggested disease prevention methods were sanitation improvement related. Institutional capacity was generally lacking as more than 50% of the communities did not have sanitation committees and environmental health officers (98.3%); health (64.3%) and water (57.1 %)committees. The results have implications for policy-makers, programme planners, academics and practitioners in the field of water and sanitation in terms of policy and programme formulation, curriculum development, and service delivery.

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