Correlates of appropriate disposal of children's stools in Malawi: a multilevel analysis

Nkoka, O. (2020) Correlates of appropriate disposal of children's stools in Malawi: a multilevel analysis. BMC Public Health, 20, 604. (doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-08725-2) (PMID:32357929) (PMCID:PMC7195806)

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Background: Management of children’s stools is an important aspect of achieving open defecation free communities and reduction of diarrhea. However, information regarding individual- and community- level factors associated with safe child stool disposal in Malawi is limited. The current study aimed to assess the prevalence of safe child stool disposal and the associated individual- and community- level factors in Malawi. Methods: The cross-sectional study used data from the 2015–16 Malawi Demographic Health Survey in which 6326 children aged under 2 years, nested within 850 communities, were analyzed. Individual- and community- level factors were tested for association with safe child stool disposal practice using multilevel logistic regression models. Results: Results revealed that 85.6% of the women reported to have safely disposed of their children’s stools. Women from households with improved sanitation had 36.0% greater odds of safely disposing of their children’s stools compared with those from households with unimproved sanitation [(adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.36; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.12–1.65). Further, women from communities with a middle (aOR: 1.62; 95% CI: 1.18–2.21) and high (aOR: 1.45; 95% CI: 1.14–1.84) percentage of educated women were more likely to have their children’s stools safely disposed of than those from communities with a low percentage of educated women. Children’s age, media exposure, and region were significantly associated with safe stool disposal. Conclusion: Both Individual- and community-level factors were revealed to be important factors for child stool disposal. Public health strategies designed to promote sanitation/safe child stools disposal need to conduct thorough community assessments to identify community-specific needs/barriers. Additionally, public health practitioners should take into consideration the geographical and wealth inequalities when designing programs aimed to improve safe child stood disposal.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nkoka, Dr Owen
Authors: Nkoka, O.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Robertson Centre
Journal Name:BMC Public Health
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN (Online):1471-2458
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Author
First Published:First published in BMC Public Health 20: 604
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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