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85% Household Members Now Use Latrines To Defecate: New Survey

In independent survey has shown that 85% of the household members use their latrine to defecate. Considering the medical costs averted as a result of open defecation free community, the financial saving for each household is Rs 50,000 per year.

In terms of cost benefit ratio, considering on the one hand the expenditures from the households and from the government, an on the other hand the financial savings induce by improved sanitation, the study found a cost-benefit ratio of 430% on average which means that Re 1 invested allows a saving of Rs 4.3.

The benefits are highest for the poorest quintile of the population. The survey was got one by UNICEF to mark the completion of three years of Swachh Bharat Mission and the Swachhta Hi Sewa fortnight. 

Releasing the findings of the survey, Nicolas Osbert, Chief WASH UNICEF said: "Having seen how poor sanitation can affect the health an lives of children and communities, the Mission is once-in-a generation opportunity.’’

Lack of hygiene and sanitation constitutes to spreading fecally transmitted infections, this is not only diarrhea, worms, other parasites. This is mainly due to widespread open defecation practice. It is estimated that in 2015, 117,000 under five children died of dairrhoea alone which is more than 13 children per hour an accounts for 22% of the global burden with regard under-5 mortality due to diarrhea.  This reduces their capacity to absorb nutrients leading to stunting. In India, 39 % children are stunted. 

As a consequence of weak infection prevention and control in health care facilities, sepsis is directly responsible for 11% of maternal and 15% of newborn deaths in India. 

With regard to economic development, India is paying a heavy price because of these preventable water-borne diseases; a study from the World Bank published in 2008 shows that the total economic impacts of inadequate sanitation in India was amounting to US $ 53.8 billion per year equivalent of 6.4% of India’s GDP in the same period. 

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Parmeshwaran Aiyar, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation said the major elements of Swachhta Hi Seva included massive awareness generation an community mobilization activities, large scale construction of twin-pit toilets, cleanliness drive an shramdaan. Also, Gandhi Jayanti would be observed as Swachh Bharat Diwas.

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