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Background: Although Cameroon is the second country in Africa after the Democratic Republic of Congo in terms of water availability, access to good drinking water constitutes an every day’s struggle. A household survey was conducted to assess knowledge, attitudes and hygiene practices among households during collection, storage and preservation of potable water and evaluate some general hygiene/sanitation practices employed at the household level on daily basis in Bamboutos Division.
Methods: A community-based descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted in April 2019 in two Sub-Divisions of the Bamboutos Division. Respondents were interviewed using a structured questionnaire.
Results: Out of the 460 households interviewed, 85.09% (n=371) could cite only one waterborne diseases with typhoid taking the lead (n=331; 89.22%); followed by cholera (n=191; 51.48%) and dysenteries (n=154; 41.51%). Most residents (n=361; 79%) had poor knowledge and practices on waterborne diseases when classified in to good/poor. Several water sources were declared by residents for drinking purposes with the springs (50%), wells (35%) and boreholes (30%) as their main sources while others (35%) mentioned rain water during the rainy season. Knowledge and practices in the prevention of WBD were found to be associated to education level while water source was found to predispose people to suffer from WBD. Most participants (n=452; 98.26%) said they washed their hands before and after eating (98.26%) and after visiting the toilets (n=358; 77.82%) with water and soap (n=403; 87.60%).
Conclusion: The study indicated poor knowledge on WBD and poor practices in their prevention in Bamboutos Division. The use of a variety of water sources for drinking purposes implies that access to good quality water is a nightmare for the population of Bamboutos. Hence measures have to be put in place for the assessment of water quality and ensure the availability of potable water to everyone.
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