Paya, Pir Mohammad, Class of 2013 – (Afghanistan)

Practicum Summary:

Knowledge, Attitudes, and Decision-Making Processes Regarding Children with Acute Respiratory Infection and Acute Diarrheal Disease in the Charahi Qamber Internal Displaced Population Camp

The goal of Pir Mohammad Paya’s practicum study is to better understand the knowledge, attitudes, practices, and decision-making processes with regard to children with acute respiratory infections and acute diarrheal diseases in Qamber Interna Displaced Population Camp in Afghanistan. This study also seeks to better understand the underlying factors and to collect relevant information to design effective interventions in efforts to reduce the prevalence of communicable diseases among the children in the Internally Displaced Population Camp in Kabul. Using qualitative data assessment in the form of focus group discussions split between male and female groups, 7 participants were identified to participate according to certain qualifying factors. These qualifying factors required that women have at least one child less than 5 years of age, each man was the husband of a woman participating the FGD, and all subjects participating signed the translated informed consent. After conducting an analysis, it was determined that both participating men and women had a very poor overall understand of acute respiratory infection and acute diarrheal disease. Pir Mohammad Paya recommends initiating an awareness campaign within camp using posters, stickers, brochures, and aired messages through mass media. He also advocates for a mosque-based educational approach in which religious leaders facilitate public health education and home-based visits by trained female community health workers. In the long term, he recommends the establishment of a girls’ school where a female teacher would be culturally acceptable, distribution of hygiene kits, an increase in trained community health workers, strengthened health education programs in health facilities, and increased access to safe drinking water to reduce the prevalence of infectious disease.