(Is it easy to do?)
Which questions could you use to determine if this barrier
kept people from taking preventive action (purifying their
The following questions are examples that were used in the
Dominican Republic. Your questions may vary.
First, assess knowledge of the promoted practice (behavior):
Do you know how to purify water using chlorine? Using
iodine? Tell me how to do it.
Do you know how to purify water by boiling it? How?
Do you know other methods for purifying drinking water?
Tell me how to purify water using those methods.
Then assess barriers in terms of limited time, money, or
What are the things that make it difficult to purify
water with bleach? With iodine? By boiling it?
Is it easy to get chlorine bleach in this community?
Iodine? Is it very expensive? Are there times when it
is not available?
Would it be difficult for you to buy X pesos of bleach
(or iodine) each month to purify your water?
Why do some people here NOT always purify their water?
If you were to buy bleach (or iodine) to purify your
water, would you prefer to buy it from the Community Health
Worker or from the store here? Why?
Be sure to assess people’s ability to do the behavior
in different settings:
Is purified water available at other places that you
go where you need a drink (e.g., in the fields)?
If not, do you have a way to take purified water with
This was a significant barrier. People said that it
was not easy to do the preventive actions. They got
their drinking water out of 55-gallon drums, filling
it with a five-gallon bucket, but the promoters and
MOH talked about purifying water in a gallon container
(which most people did not have). They asked, "How
would we purify water that is in a 55-gallon drum when
we are constantly adding and removing water from it?”
They said that boiling water was out of the question,
since it was far too expensive and time consuming. And
they could not get pure bleach in their community or
nearby. One could buy bleach in small amounts through
local stores and it was not expensive, but the store
owners always watered it down to make more money. They
could not be sure of the strength of the bleach that
they were buying, and could not afford to buy an entire
one-liter bottle of bleach at one time.
There was no purified water in the fields where they
cut cane, but the women did not take their youngest
children to the fields, anyway. Older children would
go with them, and this was a problem for them.