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Sustainable behavioral change related to environmental sanitation in India: Issues and challenges

Authors
Publisher
Medknow Publications
Publication Date
Volume
14
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.75701
Keywords
  • Letter To Editor
Disciplines
  • Communication
  • Education
  • Medicine

Abstract

Dear Sir, Some issues related to sanitation failure in India have already been discussed.[1] There has been considerable debate and discussion as to which methodologies really work and actually achieve sustainable behavior change in developing countries like India. This is because of the problems in dealing with poor, illiterate and semi-literate rural communities in India, who continue to bear such heavy burden of disease, majority of which are preventable. It is also important at this stage because only 5 years remain to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Clean water, safe removal of excreta, and personal hygiene are three key elements of any strategy to improve public health. In India, majority of the population go to the open fields for defecation. It has been shown that behavior intervention related to water, sanitation and hygiene among mothers and children will result in positive increase between baseline and post intervention surveys.[2] Cost-effectiveness analysis indicates that some water supply and sanitation interventions are highly cost-effective for the control of diarrhea among under–5-year-olds, on a par with oral rehydration therapy.[3] These are relatively inexpensive interventions such as hygiene education, social marketing of good hygiene practices, regulation of drinking water, and monitoring of water quality. Recent surveys in India have indicated improved sanitation coverage in 2008 to be 31% as against 18% in 1990. Similarly, improved water supply coverage in 2008 has been reported as 88% as against 72% in1990.[4] The MDG target measures coverage but does not consider the quality of these sanitation facilities. Besides, MDG target does not measure increase in knowledge and good practice related to personal hygiene. Motivation model of health education includes stages of interest, evaluation and decision making. The individual evinces interest in the subject and may seek more detailed information about the usefulness, limitations or applicability of new idea or pract

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