USAID awards grant for innovative new child health program

Poultry management may sound like an unlikely topic for a water and sanitation nonprofit. Typically our sector focuses on improving the sanitation practices of people.

Yet research shows that chicken droppings also pose a significant health risk. Chickens roam freely around the home, and their droppings are often considered to be harmless. As a result, young children play and explore in contaminated dirt.

This year The Water Trust is developing and implementing a training program to reduce children’s exposure to chicken droppings.

Beyond educating households on the health risk of chicken feces, the training will also impart advice on how families can improve the health and productivity of their chickens.

Poultry management practices that are safer for children also result in more productive chickens, and we expect that highlighting the livelihood benefits will increase uptake of the new behaviors.

This project will be implemented in 50 communities in Masindi and Kiryandongo districts in western Uganda. It will be evaluated by a randomized controlled trial led by Drs. Angela Harris and Ayse Ercumen of North Carolina State University.

The grant for this project was awarded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID as of part of the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS) project.

The WASHPaLS project supports USAID’s goal of reducing morbidity and mortality in children under five by ensuring USAID programming employs high-impact, evidence-based environmental health and WASH interventions.

The project identifies and shares best practices for achieving sustainability, scale, and impact by generating evidence to support the reduction of open defecation and movement of communities up the sanitation ladder, while also focusing on novel approaches for reducing feces exposure to infants and young children .

WASHPaLS manages a small grants program through which eligible organizations investigate innovative ideas for the adoption of key hygiene behaviors. This grant is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of The Water Trust and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.