Low access to safe drinking water, insufficient quantities of water for basic hygiene, and inadequate access to sanitation create a high burden for people living with HIV (PLHIV), who are vulnerable to opportunistic infections.
In April 2011, AIDSTAR-One with support from the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) piloted a training curriculum in Ethiopia that aims to address water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) at health facilities to improve the quality of life of PLHIV and their families. The FMOH was integral to the development of the curriculum and multiple reviewers provided comments before the curriculum was finalized. During implementation of the pilot training, AIDSTAR-One engaged the Regional Health Bureau of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region in the selection of health facilities and the provision of the training to health care providers and administrators.
To determine the impact of the training and to provide guidance on how to improve WASH knowledge and practices at the facility level, AIDSTAR-One conducted a mixed-methods assessment in June 2012 examining the evidence in eight health facilities one year after AIDSTAR-One’s WASH training. Collecting both qualitative and quantitative data, the assessment examined existing WASH approaches at the eight clinic sites, focusing on overall integration into the health clinic operations. Although WASH integration with nutrition assessment, counseling, and support (NACS) services was outside the mandate of the original pilot training, AIDSTAR-One was tasked to explore how WASH is incorporated into the technical area of NACS in the assessment phase to examine if integration into a technical area produces more sustainable WASH results.