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Use of Oral Cholera Vaccine and Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in a Long-Standing Refugee Camp, Thailand, 2012-2014
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  • Alternative Title:
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis
  • Description:
    Oral cholera vaccines (OCVs) are relatively new public health interventions, and limited data exist on the potential impact of OCV use on traditional cholera prevention and control measures-safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH). To assess OCV acceptability and knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAPs) regarding cholera and WaSH, we conducted cross-sectional surveys, 1 month before (baseline) and 3 and 12 months after (first and second follow-up) a preemptive OCV campaign in Maela, a long-standing refugee camp on the Thailand-Burma border. We randomly selected households for the surveys, and administered questionnaires to female heads of households. In total, 271 (77%), 187 (81%), and 199 (85%) households were included in the baseline, first and second follow-up surveys, respectively. Anticipated OCV acceptability was 97% at baseline, and 91% and 85% of household members were reported to have received 1 and 2 OCV doses at first follow-up. Compared with baseline, statistically significant differences (95% Wald confidence interval not overlapping zero) were noted at first and second follow-up among the proportions of respondents who correctly identified two or more means of cholera prevention (62% versus 78% and 80%), reported boiling or treating drinking water (19% versus 44% and 69%), and washing hands with soap (66% versus 77% and 85%); a significant difference was also observed in the proportion of households with soap available at handwashing areas (84% versus 90% and 95%), consistent with reported behaviors. No significant difference was noted in the proportion of households testing positive for Escherichia coli in stored household drinking water at second follow-up (39% versus 49% and 34%). Overall, we observed some positive, and no negative changes in cholera- and WaSH-related KAPs after an OCV campaign in Maela refugee camp. OCV campaigns may provide opportunities to reinforce beneficial WaSH-related KAPs for comprehensive cholera prevention and control.
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