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What's New?

March 2001


Knowledge Sharing Forum in Nicaragua

USAID/Nicaragua is implementing a rural water supply, sanitation and health reconstruction project through six PVOs with technical assistance from EHP/Nicaragua. To improve the implementation, impact and sustainability of the project activities, EHP/Nicaragua sponsored and implemented a forum to share knowledge and exchange experiences and lessons learned. Forum participants included field-level staff, social promoters, technicians, field engineers, work supervisors and program managers. One of the key objectives of the forum was the identification of key problem areas or needs of the PVO partner agencies which will require further EHP/Nicaragua assistance and intervention. The forum resulted in increased coordination and partnership between the six PVOs implementing the project activities as well as improved understanding and coordination with the Government of Nicaragua agencies. The sharing of experiences was particularly useful for the PVOs working in isolated areas of the country. A report on the forum with detailed information on the forum design, discussions, and conclusions can be accessed at:

Integrated Baseline Surveys in Madagascar

EHP is supporting a four-year program in biologically diverse ecosystems in Madagascar linking and integrating activities among projects in population, health and environment (natural resource management). The central hypothesis of the program is that by integrating natural resource management activities with population and health activities, programs will be more effective and sustainable.Voahary Salama or Integrated Programs Initiative (VS/IPI), a consortium of 20 partners that EHP initiated, implements the program.

EHP�s principal role in VS/IPI is monitoring and evaluation as well as operations research. EHP is currently developing and testing an integrated survey instrument for a baseline study and follow-up surveys that will measure household practices, attitudes and participation in community development activities. The objective of the baseline study and follow-up surveys is to evaluate the effectiveness of the multi-sectoral integrated approach. Among key indicators identified are health outcomes, nutritional status, and fertility control practices. These indicators have been selected because they are directly linked to natural resource management, agricultural practices, and livelihood issues. The quasi-experimental design of the baseline study comparing control and intervention communities increases the ability of follow-up surveys (which will use the same instruments) to attribute improvements over time to the interventions. Effectiveness will also be measured in qualitative terms through participatory action research by the University of Michigan Impact Assessment Project.

For more information on the program, please contact Eckhard Kleinau ([email protected])

Strengthening Vector Control Programs in Africa: A Summary of Case Studies in Four African Countries

A Regional Consultative Meeting was sponsored by WHO/AFRO in Harare, Zimbabwe, to develop a strategy for strengthening the capacity of national ministries of health in vector ecology and vector control in Africa. To support the meeting, EHP funded a series of case studies in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, and Senegal.

The studies focused on current activities and human resource capacity in vector ecology and control in the four countries. Some major recommendations based on study findings pointed toward the need for updating and utilizing available entomological and parasitological data in programming decisions and in forecasting epidemics. The need to establish a multi-national network to monitor vector resistance to insecticides was also highlighted. Other recommendations included the need to establish a regional network of vector control specialists and to identify and develop cost-effective, community-level vector control guidelines.

The report on the country case studies and regional meeting proceedings will be available in March 2001. Please contact [email protected] for information.

Cost Comparison of DDT and Alternative Insecticides for Malaria Control

EHP recently sponsored a brown bag presentation on cost comparison of DDT and alternative insecticides for malaria control. The guest speaker was Kathleen Walker, Ph.D., from USAID.

In anti-malaria operations, the use of DDT for indoor residual spraying has declined substantially over the past 30 years. However, this insecticide is still considered valuable in malaria control mainly because of its low cost relative to alternative insecticides. A 1990 cost comparison by the WHO found DDT to be considerably cheaper than other insecticides which can cost 2 to 23 times more, on the basis of cost per house per 6 months of control.

Dr. Walker�s presentation compared recent price quotes from manufacturers and WHO suppliers for DDT and appropriate formulations of nine other insecticides. Calculations based on these "global" price quotes show that DDT is still the least expensive on a cost per house basis. However, the presentation also highlighted the fact that a "global" cost comparison may not realistically reflect local costs or effective application dosages at the country level. Data on insecticide prices paid by national health ministries showed prices of insecticides can vary substantially.

To obtain a copy of Dr. Walker�s article on which her presentation was based, send a request to: [email protected]

Sanitation in Small Towns in LAC

Hygiene education and access to safe drinking water are generally viewed as two critical factors in reducing the incidence of water-borne diseases. Although equally important, access to sanitation has systematically lagged behind water supply. In Latin America and the Caribbean, only 80% of urban populations and 40% of rural populations have access to sanitation.

A number of USAID missions in the region have been supporting municipalities in the area of water supply and sanitation (WS&S), many through municipal strengthening programs, but efforts to date have focused more on drinking water supply than on sanitation. A new activity to be implemented by EHP will focus on sanitation improvement in small towns. For this activity, small towns are defined as urban centers with populations between 5,000 and 25,000. The intent of this definition of "small towns" is to focus on the smaller municipalities rather than the mid-sized to large cities. The proposed activity will build on lessons learned from past EHP experience in the decentralization of WS&S services.

Typically small towns are not in a position technically, financially, or institutionally to effectively provide sanitation services. This activity will define these issues and examine potential solutions. The outcomes of the activity will be (1) an overview document that defines the issues associated with improving sanitation in small towns and (2) development of a methodology and related tools that can be used in the planning and implementation of improved sanitation strategies in small towns operating in a decentralized system.

The methodology will be developed this spring and is expected to be ready for pilot testing in the summer of 2001. For more information on this activity, please contact Fred Rosensweig ([email protected]) or Eddy Perez ([email protected])

Electronic Files for Old Favorites from WASH

The Water and Sanitation for Health Project published a number of reports that were considered by many to be timeless, and indeed are still useful and often requested.  EHP has recently prepared electronic files for several of these "golden oldies"�Technical Report 32, 37, 41, 85, 86, 87, 88, 92, and a Fact Sheet on Water Reuse. Technical Report 32 is the widely acclaimed Facilitator Guide for Conducting a Team Planning Meeting.  To see a list of these reports, click here.

What's New on Other Pages

EHP Spanish Page - this new page will contain Spanish language EHP reports and information products. It will also contain links to key environmental health web sites in Spanish.

New at EHP Activities

New at Info Services

Environmental Health Updates:

Malaria Bulletins:

New at Publications:  Strategic Paper 1.  Case Studies on Decentralization of WS&S Services in Latin America.  This document can be downloaded as one file (602KB) or by individual case studies/chapters. It is also available in Spanish, either as a single file (435KB) or by individual case studies/chapters.  

Activity Report 103. Forum for Knowledge Sharing and Lessons Learned. Programa Rural de Agua Potable, Saneamiento y Salud Ambiental, Managua, Nicaragua. For the English version of the report click here. Copies in Spanish can be requested from EHP at [email protected].

New at Linked Sites:

 Updated Meeting Alert

Previous Issues of "What's New?"

The main topics or countries discussed are given in parentheses.

January 2001 at EHP (EHP Activities, E-Newsletter, National Malaria Control Programs in 4 African Countries, Congo, Decentralization in Latin America, Peru, WSSCC Forum, Global WS&S Assessment from WHO/UNICEF)
November 2000 at EHP (Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Madagascar, SANICONN)
September 2000 at EHP (Nepal/Regional, EHP and E-conferences)
July 2000 at EHP (Nicaragua, Malaria Vaccine Development, "Water for the World")
May/June 2000 at EHP (Nicaragua, International Consultation on Indoor Air Pollution)
April 2000 at EHP (Nicaragua, Madagascar, Mozambique)
March 2000 at EHP (Benin, South Africa, Eritrea, Madagascar)
February 2000 at EHP (Nicaragua, Paraguay, Ukraine, Mozambique and Eritrea)
January 2000 at EHP (Nicaragua, EHP Lessons Learned)

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EHP is sponsored by the Office of Health and Nutrition in the Center for Population, Health and Nutrition, Bureau for Global Programs, Field Support and Research of the U.S. Agency for International Development
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Last modified November 25, 2002