Domains of transmission and association of community, school, and household sanitation with soil-transmitted helminth infections among children in coastal Kenya

24 May 2019
Oswald WE, Halliday KE, Mcharo C, Witek-McManus S, Kepha S, Gichuki PM, Cano J, Diaz-Ordaz K, Allen E, Mwandawiro CS, Anderson RM, Brooker SJ, Pullan RL, Njenga SM,

Introduction Few studies have simultaneously examined the role of sanitation conditions at the home, school, and community on soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infection. We examined the contribution of each domain that children inhabit (home, village, and school) and estimated the association of sanitation in each domain with STH infection.

Methods Using data from 4,104 children from Kwale County, Kenya, who reported attending school, we used logistic regression models with cross-classified random effects to calculate measures of general contextual effects and estimate associations of village, school, and household sanitation with STH infection.

Findings We found reported use of a sanitation facility by households was associated with reduced prevalence of hookworm infection but not with reduced prevalence of T. trichiura infection. School sanitation coverage > 3 toilets per 100 pupils was associated with lower prevalence of hookworm infection. School sanitation was not associated with T. trichiura infection. Village sanitation coverage > 81% was associated with reduced prevalence of T. trichiura infection, but no protective association was detected for hookworm infection. General contextual effects represented by residual heterogeneity between village and school domains had comparable impact upon likelihood of hookworm and T. trichiura infection as sanitation coverage in either of these domains.

Conclusion Findings support the importance of providing good sanitation facilities to support mass drug administration in reducing the burden of STH infection in children.