Defecation

Figure illustrating the intervention delivery and data collection timeline.
This study supports SDGs 3 and 6 by investigating a low-cost behavioural intervention designed to increase latrine use and safe disposal of child faeces in India. The study found the intervention modestly increased latrine use and markedly increased safe disposal of child faeces in the short term, but was unlikely to reduce exposure to pathogens to a level necessary to achieve health gains.
This study supports SDGs 3 and 6 by analysing data from 88 low-income and middle-income countries and showing geographical disparities in access to clean water and sanitation facilities. These findings identify where efforts to increase access to safe water and sanitation have been successful over time, and highlight the need for targeted and tailored interventions to reach those communities and regions that have been left behind.
Open defecation is a major global health problem. The number of open defecators in India dwarfs that of other states, and most live in rural places. Open defecation is often approached as a problem scaled at the site of the individual, who makes a choice not to build and/or use a toilet. Attempts to end rural open defecation by targeting individuals, like social marketing or behavior change approaches, often ignore the structural inequalities that shape rural residents’ everyday lives.