Sanitary disposal of faeces is vital to combat childhood diarrhoea, and its promotion is key to improving health in developing countries.
|Title||Feces, flies, and fetor : findings from a Peruvuain shantytown|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||1998|
|Authors||Huttly, S.R.A., Fukumoto, M., Aguila, R. del, Kendall, C., Yeager, B.A.C., Lanata, C.F.|
|Pagination||p. 75-79 : 3 tab.|
|Keywords||behaviour, beliefs, child health, diarrhoeal diseases, disease transmission, faeces, peru lima, sdihyg|
Sanitary disposal of faeces is vital to combat childhood diarrhoea, and its promotion is key to improving health in developing countries. Knowledge of prevailing faeces disposal practices is a prerequisite to formulation of effective intervention strategies. Two studies were conducted in a shantytown area of Lima, Peru. First, information was gathered through in-depth interviews with mothers and structured observations (4 hours) of young children and their caretakers. Data on beliefs and practices related to faeces disposal behaviours were obtained. Excreta were deposited by animals or humans in or near the house in 82 per cent of households observed. Beliefs about faeces depended on their source and were reflected in how likely the faeces were to be cleared. While 22 per cent of children aged >18 months were observed to use a potty for defecation, 48 per cent defecated on the ground where the stools often remained. Although almost all children were cleaned after defecation, 30 per cent retained some faecal matter on their body or clothes. Handwashing after the child's defecation was extremely rare for both children (5 per cent) and caretakers (20 per cent). The hygienic disposal of faeces poses problems in this type of community. Nevertheless existing practices were found that show promise for promotion on a wider scale, including greater use of potties. [Authors' abstract]