Knowledge, attitude and practice of hygiene and sanitation in a Burundian refugee camp: implications for control of a Salmonella typhi outbreak


Nahimana MR, Ngoc CT, Olu O, Nyamusore J, Isiaka A, Ndahindwa V, Dassanayake L, Rusanganwa A



Salmonella typhi outbreak was reported in a Burundian refugee camp in Rwanda in October 2015. Transmission persisted despite increased hygiene promotion activities and hand-washing facilities instituted to prevent and control the outbreak. A knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) study was carried out to assess the effectiveness of ongoing typhoid fever preventive interventions.


A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Mahama Refugee Camp of Kirehe District, Rwanda from January to February 2016. Data were obtained through administration of a structured KAP questionnaire. Descriptive, bivariate and multivariate analysis was performed using STATA software.


A total of 671 respondents comprising 264 (39.3%) males and 407 (60.7%) females were enrolled in the study. A comparison of hand washing practices before and after institution of prevention and control measures showed a 37% increase in the proportion of respondents who washed their hands before eating and after using the toilet (p < 0.001). About 52.8% of participants reported having heard about typhoid fever, however 25.9% had received health education. Only 34.6% and 38.6% of the respondents respectively knew how typhoid fever spreads and is prevented. Most respondents (98.2%) used pit latrines for disposal of feces. Long duration of stay in the camp, age over 35 years and being unemployed were statistically associated with poor hand washing practices.


The findings of this study underline the need for bolstering up health education and hygiene promotion activities in Mahama and other refugee camp settings.

Click here to view the article, published in The Pan African Medical Journal