Background. In response to recurrent cholera outbreaks in Nyanza Province, Kenya, a local nongovernmental organization assisted the Ministry of Health by providing cholera education activities to some cholera-affected communities. We evaluated the impact on cholera prevention knowledge and practices.
Methods. In November–December 2008, we conducted a cross-sectional household survey and tested stored water for chlorine in 6 cholera-affected enumeration areas (intervention-EAs) where response activities had occurred between March–September 2008, and 6 comparison-EAs with no known reports of cholera outbreaks or response activities.
Results. We enrolled 358 individuals from intervention-EAs and 365 from comparison-EAs. Overall, >80% knew cholera symptoms and over 60% knew that water treatment prevented diarrhea; <20% had chlorine residual in stored water. More intervention-EA respondents than comparison-EA respondents recalled a cholera outbreak in their community (52% vs 19%, P < .0001), and of those, 51% versus 39%, respectively, had attended a cholera response event. Detectable chlorine residuals in stored water were found in a higher percentage of intervention-EA and comparison-EA event attendees (21% and 25%, respectively) than nonattendees (17% and 8%, respectively).
Conclusions. There was a gap between knowledge and practice of water treatment as a cholera preventive measure. Cholera event attendance may have modestly motivated increased household water treatment.