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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(3), 2653-2669; doi:10.3390/ijerph120302653

Can Integrated Watershed Management Contribute to Improvement of Public Health? A Cross-Sectional Study from Hilly Tribal Villages in India

1
Department of Public Health Sciences, Global Health (IHCAR), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, SE 171 77, Sweden
2
Department of Environmental Medicine, Indian Initiative for Management of Antibiotic Resistance, R. D. Gardi Medical College, Ujjain 456010, India
3
Department of Pediatrics, R. D. Gardi Medical College, Ujjain 456010, India
4
Department of Women and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health Unit, Uppsala University, Uppsala, SE 751 85, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwo
Received: 5 January 2015 / Revised: 18 February 2015 / Accepted: 23 February 2015 / Published: 27 February 2015
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Abstract

Tribal people living in hilly areas suffer from water scarcity in many parts of the world, including India. Water scarcity adversely impacts all aspects of life, including public health. Implementation of an Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) can help solve the problems arising out of water scarcity in such areas. However, the knowledge about and views of the water scarcity sufferers on the public health implications of IWMP have not been well documented. This cross-sectional study was performed in six purposively selected tribal villages located in Maharashtra, India. In three of the villages IWMP had been implemented (IWMV), but not in the other three (NWMV). The head of each household in all villages was interviewed using a questionnaire covering various public health aspects relevant to the villages. A total of 286/313 (92%) households participated in the study. Compared to NWMV, respondents in IWMV experienced significantly lesser prolonged water scarcity (OR = 0.39), had greater number of toilets (OR = 6.95), cultivated more variety of crops (OR = 2.61), had lower migration (OR = 0.59), higher number of girls continuing education (OR = 3.04) and better utilized modern healthcare facilities in the antenatal, natal and postnatal period (OR = 3.75, 2.57, 4.88 respectively). Thus, tribal people in IWMP-implemented villages reported advantages in many aspects of public health. View Full-Text
Keywords: integrated watershed management; public health; tribal villages integrated watershed management; public health; tribal villages
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nerkar, S.S.; Pathak, A.; Lundborg, C.S.; Tamhankar, A.J. Can Integrated Watershed Management Contribute to Improvement of Public Health? A Cross-Sectional Study from Hilly Tribal Villages in India. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 2653-2669.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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