Nepal NMIS Cycle 3: Diarrhoea, Water and Sanitation, 1996

The first NMIS cycle produced brief information about diarrhoea incidence and water and sanitation coverage. The third cycle carried out between February and June of 1996 focuses on these issues in more detail. Some 8% of children under 5 years old had diarrhoea in the last two weeks. More than half of episodes lasted more than three days. Nearly half of households knew extra fluids should be given during diarrhoea but less than half of children with diarrhoea were given any fluids and only a quarter were given extra fluids. Only a fifth were given both extra fluids and continued feeding. Many children with diarrhoea were taken for medical care, including half with short duration diarrhoea and no blood in the stool. Under half (44%) of households had access to ‘safe’ (tap, pipe, hand pump, borehole or spring) water within ten minutes of the house. Access was worse in rural areas. Latrine coverage was 15% nationally; 12% rural and 63% urban. Many households did not perceive any need for a latrine. The risk of childhood diarrhoea was increased with an unsafe water source, if the drinking water was not treated, and if the latrine when present was not used. The risk of long duration diarrhoea was reduced if children were given extra fluids on the first day of illness, if they were given Jeevan Jal and if the mother was literate.