Factors affecting safe child feces disposal in Puri, Odisha: Results from a cross-sectional study Open Access
Udaipuria, Shivika (Spring 2019)
Background: Unsafe child feces disposal is persistent, yet most sanitation campaigns overlook this important aspect of sanitation. The very few child feces management interventions that are present, focus on providing/ spreading awareness on tools to safely manage child feces. Children’s feces are often thought to be benign when in fact they are more harmful than adult feces. They are considered harmless because they smell less, have lesser visible food particles and are smaller. Safe child feces disposal practices are important to avoid faeco-oral contamination and re-exposure to fecal pathogens as children may practice geophagia or put fomites into their mouths and may defecate in areas that are easily accessible to other children/ adults.
Methods: The study uses data from the baseline survey of a cluster randomized controlled trial in Puri. This study aims to explore the factors associated with safe child feces disposal. It explores the prevalence of safe child feces disposal in the study population and child feces management practices while testing behavioral and individual and household demographic factors associated with sanitary stool disposal practices.
Results: The prevalence of safe child feces disposal was found to be very low (19%). Majority of safe defecation events were because of the child directly defecating into a latrine. The most common practice to dispose child feces was to throw it in the garbage. Social norms, motivations, risk-perception, age of the child and consistency of latrine use by other members of the household was found to be significantly associated with safe child feces disposal.
Conclusion: Sanitary disposal of child stool should not be overlooked and should be an important aspect of sanitation campaigns to ensure that there is no potential source of exposure to fecal pathogens. Child feces disposal is not just a sanitation problem but also a behavioral problem; thus, behavioral determinants should be addressed while designing sanitary child feces disposal interventions.
Table of Contents
LITERATURE REVIEW 1
METHODS SECTION 9
RESULTS SECTION 17
PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS 28
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