Comments

Poster presentation at the Kentucky Public Health Association Conference 2010.

Abstract

An International Health Service Learning Program, Impact Belize 2010, was conducted by Western Kentucky University. Faculty and students worked closely with Gales Point villagers to gain an insight into the use of Southern Lagoon. The objective of the study was to assess fecal coliform levels in Southern lagoon, its primary and secondary contact use by villagers and its potential impact on health. Study methodology involved collection of water samples, both near shore and offshore, in the lagoon and incubating them using ColiQuant EZ method approved by EPA. A questionnaire was administered to villagers attending the WKU clinic to collect data regarding the use of the lagoon and associated health problems. The range of fecal coliform levels near shore was 5501 – 6284 (95% CI) Colony Forming Units (CFU)/100 ml of water and offshore was 566 – 1065 (95% CI) CFU/100 ml of surface water. Secondly, 74% of the respondents stated that they use the lagoon, of which 56%, 10% and 33% of the people used it for primary, secondary or both purposes respectively. Results indicated that 77% of the participants reported having health problems, including respiratory illnesses or skin, eye and ear problems. Preliminary data demonstrates that contamination of the lagoon may affect the health of Gales Point villagers.

Disciplines

Environmental Public Health | Health Services Research | International Public Health | Laboratory and Basic Science Research | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion