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Socio-economic and demographic factors influencing open defecation in Haiti: a cross-sectional study
Authors: Bénédique Paul, David Jean Simon, Ann Kiragu, Woodley Généus, and Evens Emmanuel
Source: BMC Public Health, Volume 22, Article 2156;
Topic(s): Rural-urban differentials
Wealth Index
Country: Latin American/Caribbean
Published: NOV 2022
Abstract: Background Open defecation (OD) remains an important public health challenge in Haiti. The practice poses a significantly high risk of disease transmission. Considering these negative health consequences, this paper aims to identify socio-economic and demographic factors that influence OD practice among households in Haiti. Methods The study used secondary data from 13,405 households from the Haiti Demographic and Health Survey 2016-2017. Descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis were used to find the preliminary results. Further, multivariate analysis was performed to confirm the findings. Results Around one quarter (25.3%) of Haitian households still defecate in the open, almost 10% in urban areas, and nearly 36% in rural areas. Multivariate analysis revealed that the age and sex of the household head, household size, number of children aged 1-14?years old in the household, education level, wealth index, access to mass media, place of residence, and region were significant predictors of OD practice among households in Haiti. Conclusion To accelerate the elimination of OD by 2030 and therefore achieve sustainable open defecation-free status, the government of Haiti and its partners should consider wealth disparities among regions and mobilize mass media and community-based networks to raise awareness and promote education about sane sanitation practices. Furthermore, because the possibilities to build toilets differ between rural and urban areas, specific interventions must be spearheaded for each of these regions. The public program can subsidize individual toilets in rural areas with room to collect dry excreta for the preparation of fertilizers, while in urban areas collective toilets can be built in slums. Interventions should also prioritize households headed by women and young people, two underpriviledged socioeconomic groups in Haiti.