Importance of age in evaluating effects of maternal and domestic hygiene practices on diarrhoea in rural Bangladeshi children
To understand the roles of specific maternal and domestic hygiene practices in preventing diarrhoea, 611 rural children aged under 5 years in southeastern Bangladesh were studied. From July 1980 to June 1983, diarrhoea! episodes; were recorded by weekly home visits, while observations on maternal andJ domestic hygiene were made yearly. Infants (aged 3-11 months) in households where mothers washed their hands (before handling food and after toilet use) and removed the child's faeces from the premises soon after defecation had 0.82 and 0.98 annual episodes respectively, fewer than those of their counterparts with 4.11 episodes. Diarrhoea was less frequent by more than 0.5 episodes in children in the age groups 12-23 and 24-35 months with 4.3 and 2.5 annual episodes respectively for the removal of faeces only. The use of handpump water at home was not associated with the frequency of diarrhoea in children, except in the age group 48 - 59 months, in a particular year of the study.