Rural populations disproportionately lack access to improved water supplies. We evaluated a novel scheme that employed community-based sales agents to disseminate the Safe Water System (SWS)-a household-level water chlorination and safe storage intervention-in rural Madagascar.
Respondents from 242 households in 4 villages were interviewed; all used surface water for drinking water. Respondents from 239 households (99%) had heard of Sûr'Eau, the SWS disinfectant; 226 (95%) reported having ever used Sûr'Eau, and 166 (73%) reported current use. Current Sûr'Eau use was confirmed in 54% of households. Community sales agents effectively motivated their neighbors to adopt a new health behavior that prevents diarrhea.
Future work should focus on strategies for sustaining SWS use, factors that motivate community-based sales agents to promote SWS, and the feasibility of scaling up this approach.