Schistosomiasis and intestinal worm infections are widespread diseases of public health importance in Tanzania. A study on perceptions and practices related to schistosomiasis and intestinal worm infections was undertaken among a community population of Kome Island in Sengerema District, north-western Tanzania, where intestinal schistosomiasis and intestinal worm infections are endemic. Schistosomiasis and intestinal worm-related perceptions and practices were assessed before and 3 years after implementation of a participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation (PHAST) intervention as a control measure. Data were obtained from baseline and post-intervention knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) questionnaire surveys conducted twice in 2009 and 2012 among 82 individuals aged ≥15 years. We found significant increases in respondents’ knowledge of the cause, transmission, symptoms, health consequences, and prevention of schistosomiasis and intestinal worm infections after PHAST intervention. The increase in respondents’ knowledge on almost all aspects of the said infections was translated into actions to control schistosomiasis and intestinal worm infections. This has not been achieved by chance, but due to well-designed and locally-adapted PHAST intervention. We conclude that despite criticisms, PHAST approach is still useful in empowering communities to control water, sanitation, and hygiene related infectious diseases such as schistosomiasis and intestinal worm infections.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases