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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - BMC Public Health
Title Effect of eliminating open defecation on diarrhoeal morbidity: an ecological study of Nyando and Nambale sub-counties, Kenya
Author(s)
Volume 16
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 712
URL https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-016-3421-2
Abstract
Background
Defecating in the open predisposes people to soil transmitted helminthes and diarrhoeal diseases. An estimated 5.6 million Kenyans defecate in the open. Kenya launched a program to eradicate open defecation by 2013 in the rural areas. By end of 2013, only two sub-counties had eliminated open defecation. These are Nambale and Nyando. The study looked at the impact of eradicating open defecation on diarrhea prevalence among children in these two sub-counties.

Methods
Data on diarrhoea morbidity among children under 5 years was extracted from the Kenya Health Information System for all the sub-counties in Busia and Kisumu counties for 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. Prevalence was calculated for each sub-county in Kisumu for comparison with Nyando’s. Prevalence was also calculated for each sub-county in Busia County and compared to that of Nambale sub-county. A Mann–Whitney U Test was done to test the null hypothesis that diarrhoea prevalence was similar in both open defecation and open defecation free sub-counties.

Results
A Mann–Whitney U Test revealed significant difference in diarrhoeal prevalence of open defecation sub-counties (Md = 18.4, n = 34) and open defecation free sub-counties (Md = 9.8, n = 5), U = 9, z = −3.2, p = .001. Among the two Counties, Nambale had the lowest prevalence. It recorded a decline from 9.8 to 5.7 % across the three years. Prevalence for diarrhoea cases in Nyando declined from 19.1 to 15.2 % across the three years. Nyando initially had the second highest prevalence in Kisumu County and by 2014 it had the lowest prevalence.

Conclusions
The two sub-counties with open defecation free status had lower prevalence of diarrhoea cases compared to sub-counties which were yet to attain open defecation free status. This suggests that elimination of open defecation may reduce the number of diarrhoea cases.

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