Household Latrines to Control Environmental Contamination and Helminthiasis: An Exploratory Study in Indonesia
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In rural Indonesia, soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections cause health problems and impair social development. We investigated whether those problems could be solved by the use of household latrines (the ‘BALatrine’). Our method was to study two villages, of which only one had household latrines. The dependent variables were environmental contamination (Escherichia coli in well water), STH-related illnesses and symptoms, and absence from work or school due to bowel infections. The village with latrines had less E. coli contamination. STH-related illnesses and symptoms were less prevalent among participants who had a latrine than among those who did not. Absence from work or school due to bowel infection was much less common among participants who had a latrine than among those who did not (6.2% vs 40.3%). In conclusion, the BALatrine could have important public-health and social benefits, and that hypothesis should be tested in a controlled longitudinal study.
International Journal of Social Science and Humanity
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