Open Defecation: Evidence from a New Survey in Rural North India. Ecom & Polit Weekly, Sept 2014.
Authors: Diane Coffey, Aashish Gupta, Payal Hathi, Nidhi Khurana, Nikhil Srivastav, Sangita Vyas, Dean Spears
Despite economic growth, government latrine construction, and increasing recognition among policymakers that open defecation constitutes a health and human capital crisis, it remains stubbornly widespread in rural India. We present evidence from new survey data collected in Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Many survey respondents’ behaviour reveals a preference for open defecation: over 40% of households with a working latrine have at least one member who defecates in the open.
Our data predict that if the government were to build a latrine for every rural household that lacks one, without changing sanitation preferences, most people in our sample in these states would nevertheless defecate in the open. Policymakers in India must lead a large-scale campaign to promote latrine use.
The intestinal microbiome in early life: health and disease. Front. Immunol., 05 September 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00427
Marie-Claire Arrieta, Leah T. Stiemsma, et al.
Human microbial colonization begins at birth and continues to develop and modulate in species abundance for about 3 years, until the microbiota becomes adult-like. During the same time period, children experience significant developmental changes that influence their health status as well as their immune system. An ever-expanding number of articles associate several diseases with early-life imbalances of the gut microbiota, also referred to as gut microbial dysbiosis. Whether early-life dysbiosis precedes and plays a role in disease pathogenesis, or simply originates from the disease process itself is a question that is beginning to be answered in a few diseases, including IBD, obesity, and asthma.
This review describes the gut microbiome structure and function during the formative first years of life, as well as the environmental factors that determine its composition. It also aims to discuss the recent advances in understanding the role of the early-life gut microbiota in the development of immune-mediated, metabolic, and neurological diseases. A greater understanding of how the early-life gut microbiota impacts our immune development could potentially lead to novel microbial-derived therapies that target disease prevention at an early age.