Under the scope of a new sanitation initiative, in 2010, Plan Vietnam has started applying the model of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) at 4 provinces including Ha Giang, Quang Tri, Quang Binh and Kon Tum. In order to achieve and then sustain the community Open Defecation Free (ODF) status and hygiene behaviour, hand-washing campaigns and sanitation clubs in schools have been set up as an important part of the action.

Hand washing was rarely practiced by ethnic minority groups in rural regions but since the communities have been educated on the topic it has become a part of daily life. The prevalence of diseases has been reduced with the improved hygiene conditions brought about by the change in lifestyle.

Hanoi. Feb 5, 2015. The Mekong Development Research Institute (MDRI) has recently received an EEPSEA grant to conduct their research on the topic of sanitation and health.

EEPSEA, short for The Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia, is a regional organization whose goal is to strengthen local capacity in the economic analysis of environmental problems so that researchers can provide sound advice to policy makers. The organization endorses environmental economics research among its ten-member Asian countries, including Vietnam.

MDRI’s proposed research topic, titled “Do Hygienic Latrines Improve Health and Health Knowledge? – A randomized control trial study in Vietnam”, aims to analyze the impact of the Community Hygiene Output-Based Aid (CHOBA) project implemented by East Meets West over the past years on a number of indicators. These include sanitation uptake among the targeted communities, improved health knowledge of rural people and the improved health of rural households.

Findings from the research are hoped to deliver meaningful implications for other water and sanitation projects implemented in Vietnam in the coming period. The results also reflect the extent to which an Output-Based Aid program have on the targeted groups and provide evidence-based implications for the policy makers.

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