Evidence summary child faeces disposal

Behaviour Change: Evidence Summary for Safe Infant and Child Faeces Disposal

A review of 25 countries conducted in 2016 found that more than 50% of households in low- and middle-income countries practiced unsafe child feces disposal (UCFD), including as many as 84% of households in India. Although this often is connected to whether a household has an improved sanitation facility on the premises, the study found that even in households with latrines, as many as 64% practiced UCFD. Exposure to child faeces presents many of the same health hazards as open defecation, such as diarrhoeal diseases, environmental enteropathy, and impaired growth and development. Infants in low- and middle-income countries are particularly vulnerable to faecal pathogen contamination in the domestic environment due to mouthing behaviors during the exploratory stage of development. This brief summarises approaches and evidence for interventions targeting safe child faeces disposal.