Impact of Indian Sanitation Campaign on Latrine Coverage and Use: A Cross-Sectional Study in Orissa Three Years Following Programme Implementation

This paper by Barnard et al. (2013) published in PLOS ONE reports the findings of a cross-sectional study to investigate latrine coverage and use among 20 villages in Orissa, India where the Government of India's TSC had been implemented at least three years previously. It found that a large-scale campaign to implement sanitation achieved substantial gains in latrine coverage, with mean latrine coverage among the villages standing at 72% compared to less than 10% in comparable villages in the same district where the TSC had not yet been implemented. However, of the households with latrines, less than half of the members of these households reported using their latrines at all times for defecation and most defecation events in these communities were still practiced in the open. As such, the authors caution that gaps in coverage and widespread continuation of open defecation will result in continued exposure to human excreta, reducing the potential for health gains.

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