A cross sectional study on assessment of epidemiological factors associated with open field defecation in a tribal community

Priyanka Chakkarwar, Amol Kinge


Background: Almost 2.5 billion people don’t have the access to clean toilet globally. In 2011 sanitation coverage globally was 64%. While open defecation is declining across the globe, 15% (one billion) of the global population still defecate outdoors. OFD practices are associated with transmission of variety of infectious diseases. This study was conducted to understand the nature of defecation practices with respect to hygiene in a tribal community.

Methods: It was a cross sectional study conducted among patients attending out-patient department of a rural health training center from a nearby tribal area, Thane district, Maharashtra which is a field practice area of rural health training centre of Seth GSMC and KEM Hospital, Mumbai.

Results: Majority of the subjects practiced open field defecation (67%), followed by 18% subjects used household latrines and 15% used community based latrines. Majority of the study participants practiced open field defecation in agriculture fields (81%), while 44% preferred nearby water source as a site for defecation.

Conclusions: The sanitary condition in the study area was poor. Rural areas with better literacy seems to have lower open field defecation prevalence and higher percentages of sanitary latrine usage.



Open field defecation, Infectious diseases, Sanitation, Personal hygiene, Swacch Bharat Abhiyan

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