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Experience and Future Perceived Risk of Floods and Diarrheal Disease in Urban Poor Communities in Accra, Ghana

Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra GA521, Ghana
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2830; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122830
Received: 16 October 2018 / Revised: 28 November 2018 / Accepted: 4 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Climate Change and Health)
Diarrheal disease is a critical health condition in urban areas of developing countries due to increasing urbanization and its associated problems of sanitation and poor access to good drinking water. Increasing floods in cities have been linked to the risk of diarrheal disease. There are few studies that specifically link flooding with diarrhea diseases. This may be due to the fact that secondary data mainly hospital recorded cases, and not individual cases at the household level are used. Furthermore, of the few papers that consider the flood-diarrheal diseases nexus, none have considered risk perceptions in general, and more specifically, whether households that have experienced floods which resulted in a reported case of diarrhea, have higher perceived risks of future occurrences of the two phenomena compared to households that had different experiences. Yet, this is critical for the development of interventions that seek to increase protective behaviors and reduce the risk of contracting diarrhea. We surveyed 401 households in some selected urban poor communities in Accra, the capital of Ghana. Results show that households that experienced floods which resulted in a reported case of diarrhea, have higher perceived risk of future occurrence of the two phenomena compared to other households. We recommend public education that reduces the risk of exposure to flood and diarrhea through flood mitigation measures, including the construction of drains in communities and educating communities on good sanitation. View Full-Text
Keywords: flooding; diarrheal disease; risk perception; urban poor; Accra flooding; diarrheal disease; risk perception; urban poor; Accra
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Abu, M.; Codjoe, S.N.A. Experience and Future Perceived Risk of Floods and Diarrheal Disease in Urban Poor Communities in Accra, Ghana. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2830.

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