Determinants of open-air defecation in rural Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu

Swarnapriya Vasudevan, Srinivasan Nallasamy, Arjun Loganathan


Background: Open defecation refers to the practice whereby people go out in fields, bushes, forests, open bodies of water, or other open spaces rather than using toilet to defecate. This practice contributes to the emergence of infectious diseases which forms a threat to health of people. This study attempts to find the prevalence of open-air defecation (OAD) and to explore factors influencing the practice.

Methods: The present study was a community based cross-sectional study taken up in the C. Manampadi village covering 153 households. A semi structured questionnaire along with the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) questionnaire was used to collect data.

Results: Our study results show that 35.3% of the households had no toilet facility in their houses and were practicing open air defecation. There was a significant association between open air defection and variables like literacy level of head of the family, community and water adequacy.

Conclusions: This study highlights that the study population practices OAD not due to economic in sufficiency but due to social constraints.


Open air defecation, Sanitation, Swatch Bharat Mission, Toilet

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