Department of Economics
Yoshika is an interdisciplinary global health researcher with training in engineering, epidemiology and biostatistics, and social science methods. She has a BS and MS in environmental engineering from Stanford University and a MS in epidemiology and PhD in energy & resources from UC Berkeley. She combines methods from environmental engineering and public health to study safe water and sanitation, with a geographic focus on South Asia. She is interested in pragmatic strategies for improving maternal and child well-being, with a particular interest in the implications of various interventions for gender equity. Her PhD research focused on evaluating novel passive chlorination technologies for system-level water treatment in small, piped water networks in rural Nepal. Her prior work included developing and adapting low-cost chlorination technologies for in-line water treatment in urban Bangladesh. As a King Center postdoctoral fellow, she plans to continue her ongoing safe water research and conduct new collaborative research on household infrastructure quality and health.
King Center Supported Research
2022 - 2023 Academic Year | Global Development Research Funding
Exploratory Research for Passive Chlorination in Health Care Facilities in Kenya
Lack of clean water and inadequate hand hygiene have been identified as critical factors leading to infections in healthcare facilities. Unsafe water in health facilities also has implications for gender equity, because (1) lack of safe water infrastructure may cause pregnant women to be less likely to seek out antenatal care and deliver at facilities, (2) unsafe water and sanitation conditions increase risk of maternal and neonatal infections, and (3) women form the majority of the healthcare workforce globally. One promising strategy for improving safe water access in health facilities is through passive, in-line chlorination technologies, which offer the convenience of disinfected water at the tap, without the need for expensive, large-scale, centralized treatment infrastructure.
Additionally, chlorinator technologies that use liquid chlorine (i.e., bleach) may be implemented with on-site generation of chlorine, providing both a sustainable supply chain for chlorine and an effective disinfectant that can be diluted and used for surface cleaning and hand hygiene. The aim of the proposed work is to conduct exploratory research, including structured observation of water use and hand hygiene behavior, key informant interviews, and surface swabbing and environmental sampling in healthcare facilities in Kenya. These preliminary data will strengthen the competitiveness of future funding proposals to evaluate the health impacts of passive chlorination technologies in health facilities in Kenya.