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The Preventing Childhood Injuries Project

Development and Testing Environment Modification Prototypes in a community in Jinja.

 

Makerere University School of Public Health – Trauma, Injury and Disability Unit and The George Institute at Imperial College London have worked with Design without Borders Africa (DwBs) to develop home environment modification interventions that can be used by parents and caretakers of children under 5 years to prevent potential injury hazards in homes, and to address risks including burns, falls, and cuts. Five prototypes were developed which include: a fixed cooking station (photo A), an outdoor cooking ring (photo B), a multipurpose mat (photo C), rectangular/circular cooking cages (photo D) and sharps box (photo E).

 

On July 7, 2022; a meeting was held with household members that are involved in the testing of the interventions, as well as the technicians who made the interventions, and community leaders. Households were showed how to use and care for the interventions.

 

 

 

 

The team handing over prototypes to homes in Jinja

 

 

 

For a period of six months, MakSPH and DwBs tested the prototypes to establish their usability, durability, acceptability, affordability and effectiveness in reducing childhood injuries.  During the testing period, prototypes were handed over to different households in Jinja for a period of two months. These were monitored through weekly data collection by the field coordinator and monthly reviews by DwBs. The testing was concluded with a final focus group discussion to share user experiences on the prototypes. Initial findings showed that several prototypes were effective in reducing children access to injury hazards. Specifically, the outdoor cooking ring and fixed cooking ring were effective in reducing immediate child access to cooking spaces. Additionally, the fixed cooking station was found to retain heat and reduce on energy for cooking. Other prototypes like the sharps box were used for multiple roles such as storing medicines. However, community members noted that the costs of some prototypes were not affordable by households in Jinja.

   
Prototypes under use in homes in Jinja

 

One of the data collection tool used during data collection