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Global Health
December 17, 2014

Latrines Alone Do Not Improve Health of Children in Rural India

JAMA. 2014;312(23):2481. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.16190

Latrine construction in rural Indian villages did not improve the health of young children as expected, according to a study carried out by investigators from the United States, the United Kingdom, and India (Clasen T et al. Lancet Glob Health. 2014;2[11]:e645-e653).

In a cluster randomized clinical trial carried out between May 2010 and December 2013 in 100 rural villages in Odisha, India, the researchers obtained health surveillance data from households that had either a child younger than 5 years or a pregnant woman. Half the villages were randomly assigned to receive promotion and construction of latrines (intervention group) in accordance with the Government of India’s Total Sanitation Campaign, which combines social mobilization with a post hoc subsidy, while the other half did not (control group).

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