Design and implementation of participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation (PHAST) as a strategy to control soil-transmitted helminth infections in Luweero, Uganda
Background: The study is a continuation of a research carried out in Luweero district in Uganda1. It investigated whether PHAST was a suitable tool for reducing transmission of soil transmitted helminths. PHAST means Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation; a participatory approach that uses visual tools to stimulate the participation of people in
promotion of improved hygiene and sanitation.
Objective: To assess the effect of PHAST on intestinal helminth transmission in children under five years.
Methods: Three phases namely; (1) Baseline survey (2) PHAST intervention (3) Follow up were conducted. During Phase 1, the subjects’ stool samples were examined for presence of helminthic ova and questionnaires administered. In Phase 2, PHAST was conducted only in experimental villages. All subjects in the experimental and control villages were treated thrice with Albendazole. During Phase 3, all steps of Phase 1 were repeated.
Results: There was an overall reduction in the prevalence of children infected with helminths after PHAST intervention. Also, comparison of pre-intervention and post-intervention multivariate results indicates that the likelihood of children getting infected with helminths reduced in most of the experimented variables.
Conclusion: Health stakeholders should utilize PHAST approach to sensitize communities on the importance of hygiene to curb soil-transmitted helminth infections.
Key words: PHAST intervention, soil-transmitted helminth infections, Luweero district, Uganda.
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