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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 285; doi:10.3390/ijerph13030285

Impact of Integrated Watershed Management on Complex Interlinked Factors Influencing Health: Perceptions of Professional Stakeholders in a Hilly Tribal Area of India

1
Department of Public Health Sciences, Global Health—Health Systems and Policy, 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
N.G. Acharya and D.K. Marathe College, Chembur, Mumbai 400071, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 12 July 2015 / Revised: 22 February 2016 / Accepted: 29 February 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
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Abstract

Lack of access to water has a significant impact on the health of people in tribal areas, where water in households as well as for productive purposes is essential for life. In resource-limited settings such as hilly tribal areas, implementation of an integrated watershed management programme (IWMP) can have a significant impact on public health by providing a solution to water scarcity and related problems. The professional stakeholders in rural healthcare and development administration are important pillars of the system that implements various programmes and policies of government and non-government organizations, and act as facilitators for the improvement of public health in tribal areas. Information about the perceptions of these stakeholders on public health implications of the integrated watershed management programme is important in this context. A qualitative study was conducted using face to face semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) with stakeholders involved in healthcare provision, education and development administration. The transcripts of interviews and FGDs were analyzed using manifest and latent content analysis. The perceptions and experiences shared by healthcare and development administration stakeholders suggest that implementation of IWMP in tribal areas helps efficient water and agriculture management, which results in improved socio-economic conditions that lead to positive health outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: agriculture; education; healthcare providers; public health; qualitative study; integrated watershed management agriculture; education; healthcare providers; public health; qualitative study; integrated watershed management
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.; Tamhankar, A.J.; Johansson, E.; Lundborg, C.S. Impact of Integrated Watershed Management on Complex Interlinked Factors Influencing Health: Perceptions of Professional Stakeholders in a Hilly Tribal Area of India. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 285.

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