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Evaluation of the effectiveness of a latrine intervention in the reduction of childhood diarrhoeal health in Nyando District, Kisumu County, Kenya

  • C. Babb (a1), N. Makotsi (a2), I. Heimler (a3), R. C. Bailey (a1), R. C. Hershow (a1), P. Masanga (a2) and S. D. Mehta (a1)...

Community-led total sanitation (CLTS) is an intervention that strives to end the practice of open defaecation. This study measured the effectiveness of CLTS in Nyando District by examining the association between community open defaecation-free (ODF) status and childhood diarrhoeal illness. A cross-sectional study design was used among households with children ⩽5 years old to ascertain information on acute diarrhoea in the past year (outcome), sanitation and health behaviours. Water testing was conducted to determine Escherichia coli and turbidity levels for 55 water sources. Data were obtained from 210 parents or caregivers from an ODF community and 216 parents or caregivers in a non-ODF community. The non-ODF participants reported a non-significant 16% increased risk of diarrhoea compared with the participants from the ODF community. Children's HIV positivity (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) = 2.29; 95% CI 2.07–2.53), unsafe child stool disposal (aPR = 1.92; 95% CI 1.74–2.12) and low household income (aPR = 1.93; 95% CI 1.46–2.56) were associated with diarrhoea, in the non-ODF community. The ODF location had a higher percentage of E. coli in the drinking water compared with the non-ODF location (76.7% vs. 60%). Diarrhoeal disease rates in children ⩽5 years old did not differ by whether a latrine intervention was implemented. Water sampling findings suggest water safety may have decreased the effectiveness of the CLTS’ improvement of childhood diarrhoea. Improved water treatment practices, safe stool disposal and education may improve the CLTS intervention in ODF communities and therefore reduced the risk of childhood diarrhoea.

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Author for correspondence: S. D. Mehta, E-mail:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
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