Associations between open drain flooding and pediatric enteric infections in the MAL-ED cohort in a low-income, urban neighborhood in Vellore, India

Associations between open drain flooding and pediatric enteric infections in the MAL-ED cohort in a low-income, urban neighborhood in Vellore, India. BMC Public Health, July 10, 2019.

Authors: David M. Berendes, Juan S. Leon, Amy E. Kirby, Julie A. Clennon, Suraja J. Raj, Habib Yakubu, Katharine A. Robb, Arun Kartikeyan, Priya Hemavathy, Annai Gunasekaran, Sheela Roy, Ben Chirag Ghale, J. Senthil Kumar, Venkata Raghava Mohan, Gagandeep Kang and Christine L. Moe

Open drains are common methods of transporting solid waste and excreta in low-income urban neighborhoods. Open drains can overflow due to blockages with solid waste and during rainfall, posing exposure risks. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether pediatric enteric infection was associated with open drains and flooding in a dense, low-income, urban neighborhood.

Children in areas susceptible to open drain flooding had increased odds of enteric infection as rainfall increased. Results suggested that infection increased with rainfall due to neighborhood infrastructure (including poor fecal sludge management) and not frequency of contact. Thus, these exposures may not be mitigated by changes in personal behaviors alone. These results underscore the importance of improving the neighborhood environment to improve children’s health in low-income, urban settings.

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