Why Don’t Mothers
Purify Their Water in the Sugar Cane Camps of the Dominican
Now that we have described what Barrier Analysis is and the
seven steps involved in the actual process, we want to look
at two examples from the field.
Diarrhea was found to be very high in bateyes (sugar cane
camps) in International Child Care’s child survival
project area in the Dominican Republic. The staff knew that
water purification was very low from the KPC survey done at
baseline. In response to the situation, the staff wanted to
determine why water purification was done by so few families.
The staff members believed that the reasons for the lack of
water purification (as well as the high prevalence of diarrhea)
were (1) that mothers had not heard the current health education
messages (e.g., "Boil your water for 15 minutes")
often enough, and (2) that people were just too lazy to do
it. A focus group guide was prepared using questions to examine
each determinant. Then focus groups were done in three different
communities in one day, talking mostly with mothers of young
children but also with other people in the community. The
study examined three related behaviors at once: purification
of water by boiling, using bleach, and using iodine. We will
now look at the questions that were used, what the staff members
found, and what was done about it.