African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 996

Full Length Research Paper

Assessment of the health impacts of WASH interventions in disaster-prone communities in three regions of Northern Ghana

Eugene Appiah-Effah
  • Eugene Appiah-Effah
  • Department of Civil Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.
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Gideon Sagoe
  • Gideon Sagoe
  • Sewerage Systems Ghana Ltd., P. O. Box GP 1630, Accra, Ghana.
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Kobina Mensah Afful
  • Kobina Mensah Afful
  • WASH Consultant, UNICEF, Ghana.
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Dwuodwo Yamoah-Antwi
  • Dwuodwo Yamoah-Antwi
  • Quality Assured Engineering Company Limited, Asutuare, Ghana.
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  •  Received: 03 December 2019
  •  Accepted: 07 July 2020
  •  Published: 30 September 2020

Abstract

This study evaluated the health impacts of WASH interventions in 9 intervention communities against 9 control communities in disaster-prone areas in northern Ghana. We extracted community-specific data on patient-reported cases of WASH-related diseases from health facilities in the study areas. Also, we used key informant interviews and household questionnaires to seek information for validation. The impact was measured using the before-after study with concurrent control (BAC) method of Health Impact Evaluation in WASH interventions. The findings indicate a substantial increase in the number of WASH facilities across the intervention communities. However, some respondents complained of access to inadequate quantities and increase downtime of water systems when there is a breakdown. Access to improved sanitation facilities was still a challenge, although a steady increase in the number of household access to latrines was observed. We extracted about 2,315 reported cases of WASH-related diseases, comprising diarrhoea (83%), dysentery (8%), typhoid fever (7%) and intestinal worms (2%). Impacts on diarrhoea prevalence were generally lower than reported figures, and varied across the intervention communities, ranging from 0 to 7% reduction. We recommend that greater attention be given to the sustainability of the intervention to ensure service delivery, rather than as a one-time investment, to achieve more significant impacts.

 

Key words: Disaster-prone communities, WASH, sanitation, public health.