Common Beliefs around Vaginal Illness and Water Quality in Haiti
Received Date: Aug 08, 2017 / Accepted Date: Sep 26, 2017 / Published Date: Oct 03, 2017
There is a need for research that explores the perceptions of health concerns from a local perspective, so that where appropriate and deemed necessary, medical interventions and educational initiatives can be effectively designed to respond to public needs, misconceptions, or behavioural practices. Initial pilot needs assessments conducted in the Coastal Ouest region of Haiti alluded to a belief that vaginal illness related to water quality is a major concern among community members. Cultural perceptions of vaginal illness related to water quality were explored with maximum variability sampling among community members and key informants. Participants were selected based on age, gender, socioeconomic status, occupation, and medical training. Beliefs surrounding vaginal illness and water quality were allowed to arise through open-ended, semi-structured interviews conducted with the use of qualified translators. Haitian study participants shared the belief that water is related to vaginal illness, with 81% of Haitian participants expressing the belief that water is a direct cause of vaginal illness. Vaginal illness is a frequent complaint among Haitian women seeking gynaecological care, though very little qualitative research exists on how women seek to prevent or treat these illnesses. The current research indicates that the additional monitoring of shared household water sources used for personal hygiene, in the absence of piped household water, is a potential public health concern related to vaginal illness in Haiti. Further research is needed to determine how public health messaging in the region may influence perceptions of risk and behaviours related to water and personal hygiene.
Keywords: Women’s health; Vaginal illness; Haiti; Water; Health perceptions
Citation: Chapman KS, Wood EA, McKune SL, De RE VMB (2017) Common Beliefs around Vaginal Illness and Water Quality in Haiti. Air Water Borne Dis 6: 136. Doi: 10.4172/2167-7719.1000136
Copyright: © 2017 Chapman KS, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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