Friday, August 21, 2015
School of Medicine

Thematic Area: Health & Hygiene

Project Guides: Mr. Renjith Bhadran and Dr. Jaggu, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center

International Partner: Karel Haal, University of Groeningen, Netherlands

Village: Komalikudi, Kerala

Project Duration: 3 months

Amrita Partner: Department of Community Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Amrita Center for International Programs, Amrita Self Reliant Villages (Amrita SeRVe) AMMACHI Labs, and Amrita CREATE

Identified Challenge & Aim:

In line with national efforts to eliminate open defecation, Amrita has launched a sustainable and scalable rural sanitation program of building toilets. However, changing existing sanitation practices is not an easy task and contemplation about the social, economic, and health impact of rural communities needs to taken into consideration as well as their motivation to alter current behavior.

The Study/Innovation:

Preliminary team meetings were held with staff from AMMACHI Labs and Amrita Self Reliant Villages (ASeRVe) to gain a proper understanding of current rural sanitation practices. These were followed by discussions with doctors from the Department of Community Medicine at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center to understand the current rural health care model and diseases associated with poor sanitation practices. After collecting relevant secondary data, the project team traveled to Komalikudi to collected primary data from the field. They conducted several focus group discussions followed by household surveys. This comprehensive analysis enabled to them to examine the health, economic and social impact building toilets could potential have in the community. Based on collected data, the team then conducted a cost-benefit analysis of toilet building activities with guidance from staff from AMMACHI Labs, showing that investing in toilets is a wise financial decision.

Addresses Sustainable Development Goals:

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