Poor Sanitation a Major Cause of Premature Births, Study Reveals

A wise Engineer once told me that the richer you are, the closer to your bed your toilet is...

The sanitation coverage in Nairobi County is about 57%. What this means is that 1.9 Million Nairobi residents do not have access to quality sanitation facilities. This, according to a recent study in Odisha, India, is a major contributing factor when it comes to premature births.

In the research that was published in the PLOS medicine journal, 670 women were enrolled during their first trimester of pregnancy, their sanitation access and practices recorded and followed throughout the pregnancy to the time they delivered.

In a country that is infamous for open defecation, the study found that women who defecated in the open had a greater risk of delivering preterm babies as compared to their toilet using counterparts. Improving the sanitation coverage in the country could go a long way in ensuring that children of tomorrow embark on their lives strong, and not fighting for their lives because they got here a little too early.

When you think about open defecation in Kenya, one thing that comes to mind is the flying toilets in the slums. You would be surprised to know that some communities in some rural parts of Kenya still practice open defecation in this day and age. A very good friend of mine told me that the wife attended a wedding at the Kenyan Coast sometime back, and when she asked to be shown to the ladies, one of the ushers escorted her to the bushes...


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