Abstract

This qualitative study explored stakeholders' knowledge of diarrhoea; their attitude to and perceptions of the use of Moringa oleifera seeds for home-based water treatment (HWT) and diarrhoea prevention in a low resource setting. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with 13 respondents comprising rural community dwellers, health implementers and policy makers, and analysed using thematic analysis. Most rural community members interviewed had no knowledge of specific causes of diarrhoea or of the link between unsafe water and diarrhoeal diseases. They also practised inadequate or no methods of HWT. Although respondents were unaware of the use of M. oleifera seeds for HWT, community members and policymakers were keen on adopting it after observing demonstrations of its use for this purpose. Reasons for this behaviour change included easy accessibility to and a familiarity with M. oleifera for other uses. These results highlight the importance of providing health education on diarrhoea and water safety to motivate and empower community members to adopt healthy HWT behaviours. The use of M. oleifera seeds for HWT should be taught and advocated because it is a cheap, efficient and acceptable method of water purification for stakeholders.

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