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01.11.2008 | Regular Article | Ausgabe 6/2008

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 6/2008

Cohabitation with farm animals in urban households with and without occupational farm work: associations between participation in educational activities and good hygiene practices in at-risk households cohabiting with farm animals

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine > Ausgabe 6/2008
Autoren:
Phoupasong Somphou, Takehito Takano, Keiko Nakamura

Abstract

Objectives

This study was performed to investigate patterns of cohabitation with farm animals in urban households in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, with regard to animal-to-human disease transmission. We also investigated the association between participation in hygiene-related educational activities and good hygiene practices in households with or without cohabitation with animals.

Methods

A survey regarding cohabitation with animals, socioeconomic characteristics and participation in educational activities was conducted among 1,497 households randomly sampled from urban districts of Vientiane in 2001. Rates of satisfactory performance of recommended good hygiene practices according to a program commencing in 1996 were compared among households cohabiting with animals with or without participation in educational activities (reference group).

Results

Even among households not engaged in agriculture as a major source of income, 54.4, 34.9, 7.9, 3.1 and 35.7% cohabited with chickens, ducks, cattle, buffaloes and dogs, respectively. The percentage of households fulfilling the recommendations for good hygiene practices was 56.7%. The rates of satisfactory hygiene practices among households participating in health education and cohabitating with chickens, ducks or cattle were greater than those in the reference group (OR = 1.7, 95%CI = 1.2, 2.3; OR = 2.0, 95%CI = 1.3, 3.0; OR = 2.3, 95%CI = 1.0, 4.9) regardless of socioeconomic factors. Households cohabiting with animals showed poorer rates of satisfactory hygiene practices than those without animals.

Conclusions

Cohabitation with farm animals is common in urban Vientiane regardless of household involvement in agriculture. Further effort is required to improve hygiene conditions, despite some positive effects of health education even in households cohabiting with animals.

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