|Factors associated with safe child feces disposal practices in Ethiopia: evidence from demographic and health survey|
||Muluken Azage, and Demewoz Haile
||Archives of Public Health, 73:40; DOI 10.1186/s13690-015-0090-z
||Background: According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for water supply and Sanitation definition, safe child feces disposal practices include: children defecation into a latrine, disposal of child stools in a latrine or burial. Inappropriate disposal of human feces including unsafe child feces disposal facilitates the transmission of pathogens. However, the factors associated with safe child feces disposal practices have not been yet well explored in Ethiopia. This study aimed to identify factors associated with safe child feces disposal practices in Ethiopia.
Methods: This study analyzed data from Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) 2011. The practice of child’s feces disposal was categorized into ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ based on the WHO/ UNICEF JMP for water supply & Sanitation definition. Binary and multivariable logistic regression models were employed to identify factors associated with safe child feces disposal practices.
Result: The prevalence of safe child feces disposal was 33.68 % (95 % CI: 32.82-34.55). In the final multivariable logistic regression model, the practice of safe disposal of child feces was significantly associated with urban residency (AOR = 1.25, 95 % CI: 1.01-1.55) and having access to an improved latrine (AOR = 1.92, 95 % CI: 1.56-2.36). Households found in the poorer, middle, richer and richest wealth quintile had (AOR = 2.22, 95 % CI: 1.70-2.89), (AOR = 2.94, 95 % CI: 2.27-3.81), (AOR = 4.20, 95 % CI: 3.42-5.72) and (AOR = 8.06, 95 % CI: 5.91-10.99) times higher odds to practice safe child feces disposal respectively as compared households from poorest wealth quintile. Mothers/caregivers with primary, secondary and higher educational status had (AOR = 1.29, 95 % CI: 1.10-1.50), (AOR = 1. 64, 95 % CI: 1.12-2.41) and (AOR = 2.16, 95 % CI: 1.25-3.72) times higher odds to practice safe child feces disposal respectively than those mothers who had no education. Those mothers/caregivers whose child was 48–59 months old had (AOR = 2.21, 95 % CI: 1.82-2.68) times higher odds to practice safe child feces disposal as compared to mothers/caregivers who had a child with age less than 12 months old. The odds of safe child feces disposal among households who had one two and three under five years old children were (AOR = 3.11, 95 % CI: 1.87-5.19),(AOR = 2.55, 95 % CI: 1.53-4.24) and (AOR = 1.92, 95 % CI: 1.13-3.24) times higher respectively than households with four and more children of under five years old.
Conclusion: Only one third of the mothers practiced safe child feces disposal in Ethiopia. Being an urban resident, having a higher wealth quintile, high levels of maternal education, older child age, having a lower number of under five years old children, and the presence of an improved latrine were factors associated with safe child feces disposal practices. Therefore interventions designed to improve safe child feces disposal practices should consider those factors identified. Further research is also needed to design intervention that will aim to improve safe child feces disposal.
Keywords: Child feces disposal, Ethiopia, Demographic and Health Survey, Sanitation, Diarrhea, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)