A Qualitative Study of Barriers to Accessing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Disabled People in Malawi

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  • Dan Campbell, USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project
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A Qualitative Study of Barriers to Accessing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Disabled People in Malawi

An interesting study - A Qualitative Study of Barriers to Accessing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Disabled People in Malawi. PLoS One, May 2016

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This study explores the WASH priorities of disabled people and uses the social model of disability and the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework to look at the relationships between impairments, contextual factors and barriers to WASH access.

Participants reported 50 barriers which related to water and sanitation access, personal and hand hygiene, social attitudes and participation in WASH programs. No two individuals reported facing the same set of barriers. This study found that being female, being from an urban area and having limited wealth and education were likely to increase the number and intensity of the barriers faced by an individual.

This study found that body function limitations such as incontinence, pain and an inability to communicate WASH needs are in and of themselves significant barriers to adequate WASH access. Understanding these access barriers is important for the WASH sector at a time when there is a global push for equitable access.

Dan Campbell
USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project
ECODIT
1901 N. Moore St, Suite 1004
Arlington, VA 22209
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