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Original Research

Water sanitation, access, use and self-reported diarrheal disease in rural Honduras

Submitted: 13 November 2012
Revised: 3 January 2013
Accepted: 7 January 2013
Published: 20 May 2013

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Author(s) : Halder GE, Bearman G, Sanogo K, Stevens MP.

Gabriela Halder

Citation: Halder GE, Bearman G, Sanogo K, Stevens MP.  Water sanitation, access, use and self-reported diarrheal disease in rural Honduras. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2013; 13: 2413. Available: (Accessed 21 October 2017)


Introduction:  Only 79% of individuals living in rural Honduras use improved water sources. Inadequate drinking water quality is related to diarrheal illness, which in Honduras contributes to 18.6 episodes of diarrhea per child year in children under five years of age. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare access to drinking water and sanitation, as well as self-reported diarrheal disease incidence among three proximal communities in the Department of Yoro area of Honduras.
Methods:  An 11-item language-specific, interviewer-administered, anonymous questionnaire was administered to 263 randomly selected adults attending a June 2011 medical brigade held in the communities of Coyoles, La Hicaca, and Lomitas. Chi-square with Fisher exact tests were utilized to compare water access, sanitation, and self-reported diarrheal incidence among these communities.
Results:  Coyoles and La Hicaca used private faucets as their primary water sources. Coyoles had the greatest use of bottled water. Lomitas used rivers as their primary water source, and did not use bottled water. Mostly, females were responsible for acquiring water. Usage of multiple water sanitation methods was most common in Coyoles, while no sanitation method was most common in Lomitas. In Lomitas and La Hicaca, water filters were mostly provided via donation by non-governmental organizations. Lomitas had the highest reported incidence of diarrhea among self and other household members.
Conclusions:  Critical differences in water access, sanitation, and self-reported diarrheal incidence among three geographically distinct, yet proximal, communities highlights the need for targeted interventions even in geographically proximal rural areas.

Key words: Honduras, sanitation use, self-reported diarrheal incidence, water access.

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