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Evaluation of the health impact of the American Red Cross-sponsored water and sanitation infrastructure reconstruction program in communities affected by Hurricane Mitch, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala
  • Published Date:
    February 2002
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-443.58 KB]

  • Description:
    The American Red Cross (ARC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborated on a 3-year evaluation of the public health impact of ARC’s water, sanitation, and hygiene education activities in eight study areas (two in each country) from the four countries where ARC implemented water and/or sanitation interventions after Hurricane Mitch. The purpose of the evaluation was to compare 1) access to and use of water and sanitation facilities, 2) the use of hygienic behaviors, and 3) diarrheal prevalence in children less than 3 years of age before (baseline survey), during (mid-term survey) and after (final survey) the interventions had been implemented. The baseline, mid-term and final surveys were conducted in the same communities in February of 2000, 2001, and 2002. In addition, an infrastructure evaluation was conducted in February 2002. The infrastructure evaluation provided a review of the design, construction, and current operation and maintenance of the water systems and latrines.

    This report summarizes the activities of the three surveys and evaluates the effectiveness of the interventions in meeting the public health goals of increased access to water and sanitation, and decreased the rate of diarrheal disease. The results of the evaluation demonstrate the contributions that the ARC interventions have made to improve community health, access to water and sanitation, and promote the use of proper hygiene behaviors in these communities. However, this evaluation was somewhat limited in its ability to address longer-term sustainability of the interventions because of the time frame in which it took place. At the time of the final survey, approximately three years after Hurricane Mitch, some of these projects had been operating for about one year, while others had been online for only a couple of weeks. Therefore, evaluating long-term sustainability is not yet possible.

    Suggested citation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2002. Evaluation of the Health Impact of the American Red Cross-Sponsored Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Reconstruction Program in Communities Affected by Hurricane Mitch: Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Atlanta: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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