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Free Content Follow-up of a low cost latrine promotion programme in one district of Amhara, Ethiopia: characteristics of early adopters and non-adopters

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Summary Objectives 

To verify reported construction of 22 385 household latrines in 2004, after community mobilization, as part of a trachoma control programme in one district of Amhara, Ethiopia, and to explore characteristics of early latrine adopters and non-adopters. Methods 

We used a two-stage cluster sample survey design to randomly select eight sub-districts and 160 households listed as having built a latrine, and visited them to verify presence and use. Household heads were interviewed to determine latrine cost and knowledge, attitude and practice regarding latrines. Non-latrine adopting neighbours were interviewed for comparison. We estimated district latrine ownership and calculated adjusted odds ratios for factors associated with latrine use. Results 

Latrines were present in 87% (95% CI 77–97) of listed households; 90% (81–99) were in use. Among all district residents we estimated ownership as 50.2% (44–56) and use as 45.2% (36–55). Of latrine owners who had built in 2004, 69% (53/77) had spent nothing on their latrine, those who paid spent an average of US$4.0 [standard deviation (SD) US$3.6]; overall the median cost was US$0 and the mean US$0.80 (SD US$1.7). Household heads adopting latrines were 1.9 times (95% CI 1.3–2.8) more likely to have any education and 1.5 times (95% CI 1.1–2.0) more likely to have a larger family than non-adopting neighbours. Cleanliness (48%, 56/116) and health benefits (42%, 49/116) were the most frequently reported advantages of latrines. Conclusion 

The latrine promotion programme dramatically increased latrine access and use at very low cost. The method of community mobilization used could be an effective way of reaching millennium development sanitation targets.
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Keywords: Ethiopia; Millennium Development Goals; community mobilization; latrines; toilet facilities; trachoma

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Epidemic Intelligence Service, Respiratory Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA 2:  Amhara Regional Health Bureau, Bahir-Dar, Ethiopia 3:  The Carter Center, Atlanta, GA, USA

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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