Changing water-use patterns in a water-poor area: Lessons for a trachoma intervention project

Ann P. McCauley, Matthew Lynch, Moses B. Pounds, Sheila West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


An epidemiological survey carried out in the Dodoma region of Tanzania found that high rates of trachoma infection in pre-school children were associated with unwashed faces. Prior to a planned trachoma intervention project, a pilot study was done on household decisions about water use and perceptions about face washing and eye disease. The study found that mothers overestimated the amount of water necessary to wash a child's face. In addition, mothers would not change their water-use priorities without the consent of their husbands and the support of the community. Therefore a health education program was designed to address the perception that face washing required a great deal of water. The program also sought to involve and re-educate the whole community rather than focus only on the mothers who were most likely to wash the children's faces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1233-1238
Number of pages6
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1990


  • Tanzania
  • eye disease
  • household health decisions
  • water use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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