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Roads and Diarrhea: A Mixed Methods Study of the Relationship Between Rural Transportation Infrastructure and Enteric Disease in Northwest Ecuador
In the northern coastal border region of Ecuador, new highways have begun to increase socio-economic development in remote Afro-descendent communities. Greater connectivity has led to greater access to rural health care. But increased access also leads to new health risks. Through a mixed methods approach, this study examines the relationship between village proximity to the nascent highway system, and diarrheal episodes among young children. After controlling for animal exposures, water collection sources, and mother's education, children under six years of age in communities located "far" from the main road system are 90% less likely to have experienced diarrhea in the last two weeks than those in communities located "close" to the road network (OR 0.10; CI 0.012 - 0.795). These findings suggest that new road networks may be related to diarrheal outcomes among young children. Other findings indicate that health services in the region are also lacking.
NotesDegree awarded: M.A. School of International Service. American University.; Electronic thesis available to American University authorized users only, per author's request.
Degree grantorAmerican University. School of International Service