Sep 5, 2012

Diarrhea and Adolescent Students (Ref.: India)

. . . [M]ore boys than girls attending higher grades in rural schools, possibly because female students drop out. It is also interesting that 41.30% of the households of female students own a toilet, while 60.29% of the households of male students own a toilet.
Inadequate access to toilets at school gives incentives for open defecation regardless of the sex of the student.
The authors add:
While the percentages of males and females who never resort to open defecation, whether at school or at home, is similar (33.8% vs. 32.6%, respectively), the percentage of males who consistently practice open defecation (23.53%) is greater than the percentage of adolescent females who do so (13.04%). 
Usage of latrines lowers the probability of diarrhoea occurrence and is the main variable to focus on to reduce the prevalence of diarrhoea among adolescents.
Using latrines is significantly correlated with lower odds of diarrhoea occurrence. The odds of having at least one episode of diarrhoea are 80% lower for adolescents who practice a mix of open defecation and latrine use compared to adolescents who always practice open defecation. The same trend is observed for adolescents who always use latrines compared to those who always defecate openly, but the result is not statistically significant. In conclusion, the use of latrines appears to be an important determinant of diarrhoeal prevalence among adolescents.
The number of inhabitants per room is significantly related to the odds of having at least one episode of diarrhoea at the 10% level. An increase in the number of people sharing a room increases the odds of having diarrhoea by 42%. Therefore the amount of space per household member can be considered a determinant of diarrhoea for adolescents.
The article is called: "Determinants of the prevalence of diarrhoea in adolescents attending school: A case study of an Indian village school," and it is by Ramani et al (August 2012).  

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