Determinants of disposal of child faeces in latrines in urban slums of Odisha, India: A cross-sectional study

Fiona Majorin, Corey L. Nagel, Belen Torondel, Parimita Routray, Manaswini Rout, Thomas F. Clasen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Even among households that have access to improved sanitation, children’s faeces often do not end up in a latrine, the international criterion for safe disposal of child faeces. Methods: We collected data on possible determinants of safe child faeces disposal in a cross-sectional study of 851 children <5 y of age from 694 households in 42 slums in two cities in Odisha, India. Caregivers were asked about defecation and faeces disposal practices for all the children <5 y of age in the household. Results: Only a quarter (25.5%) of the 851 children’s faeces were reported to be disposed of in a latrine. Even fewer (22.3%) of the 694 households reported that the faeces of all children <5 y of age in the home ended up in the latrine the last time the child defecated. In multivariate analysis, factors associated with being a safe disposal household were education and religion of the primary caregiver, number of children <5 y of age in the household, wealth, type and location of the latrine used by the household, household members >5 y of age using the latrine for defecation and mobility of children <5 y of age in the household. Conclusions: Few households reported disposing of all of their children’s faeces in a latrine. Improving latrine access and specific behaviour change interventions may improve this practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • Child faeces
  • Cross-sectional study
  • India
  • Sanitation
  • WASH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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