Evaluation of Knowledge and Practices Regarding Cholera, Water Treatment, Hygiene, and Sanitation before and after an Oral Cholera Vaccination Campaign—Haiti, 2013–2014
In 2013, the Government of Haiti implemented its first oral cholera vaccine (OCV) campaign in Petite Anse, an urban setting, and Cerca Carvajal, a rural commune. We conducted and compared responses to two independent cross-sectional knowledge and practices household surveys pre- (N = 297) and post- (N = 302) OCV campaign in Petite Anse. No significant differences in knowledge about causes, symptoms, and prevention of cholera were noted. Compared with precampaign respondents, fewer postcampaign respondents reported treating (66% versus 27%, P<0.001)and covering (96% versus 89%, P = 0.02) their drinking water. Compared with precampaign, postcampaign survey household observations showed increased availability of soap (16.2% versus 34.5%,P = 0.001) and handwashing stations (14.7% versus 30.1%, P = 0.01), but no significant changes in handwashing practices were reported. Although there was no change in knowledge, significant decreases in water treatment practices necessary for cholera and other diarrheal diseases prevention were noted in the postcampaign survey. Future OCV campaigns in Haiti should be used as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of maintaining good water, sanitation, and hygiene practices, and include a comprehensive, integrated approach for cholera control.