'I Know How Stressful It Is to Lack Water!' Exploring the Lived Experiences of Household Water Insecurity among Pregnant and Postpartum Women in Western Kenya

Citation:

Collins, Shalean M., Patrick Mbullo Owuor, Joshua D. Miller, Godfred O. Boateng, Pauline Wekesa, Maricianah Onono, and Sera L. Young. 2019. “‘I Know How Stressful It Is to Lack Water!’ Exploring the Lived Experiences of Household Water Insecurity among Pregnant and Postpartum Women in Western Kenya.” Global Public Health 14 (5): 649-62.

Authors: Shalean M. Collins, Patrick Mbullo Owuor, Joshua D. Miller, Godfred O. Boateng, Pauline Wekesa, Maricianah Onono, Sera L. Young

Abstract:

There is rapidly evolving literature on water insecurity in the general adult population, but the role of water insecurity during the vulnerable periods of pregnancy and postpartum, or in the context of HIV, has been largely overlooked. Therefore, we conducted an exploratory study, using Go Along interviews, photo-elicitation interviews, and pile sorts with 40 pregnant and postpartum Kenyan women living in an area of high HIV prevalence. We sought to (1) describe their lived experiences of water acquisition, prioritisation, and use and (2) explore the consequences of water insecurity. The results suggest that water insecurity is particularly acute in this period, and impacts women in far-reaching and unexpected ways. We propose a broader conceptualisation of water insecurity to include consideration of the consequences of water insecurity for maternal and infant psychosocial and physical health, nutrition, and economic well-being.

Keywords: HIV, water insecurity, maternal and child health, first 1000 days

Topics: Gender, Health, HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2019

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