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Mehdi Hayat Khan
Zubaida Akhtar
Shaistah Iqbal Rao
Mariya Tahir
Arige Fatima
Maryam Mukhtar


Health Education, sanitation, public health, safe drinking water, Rural area



Access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation is a fundamental human right and basic ingredient of public health. Punjab, the most populous province of Pakistan with more than 50% of the country's population, is no exception. Keeping in view its importance, the current study is an effort to investigate Impact of Safe Water supply and Poor Sanitation on Health among Residents of rural area in Punjab to ensure the provision of these services to the masses. Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey Household data from 2017 to 2018 has been used for analysis. The results of a logistic regression model revealed that household media exposure, education level of household head, household wealth status, and ethnic background of the household head are some of the important determinants of household access to safe drinking water. For household access to improved sanitation, along with these factors, the role of social norms and place of residence are also important. Particularly, the role of social norms is very profound. Findings from the study suggest that efforts should be made to provide readily available media access, household education level needs to be enhanced, policies should be made to raise the living standard of the poorest households, and the social norm for the use of improved sanitation needs to be promoted.

Method: The study explored the indicators of safe potable water supply and poor sanitation in Punjab (Pakistan). We used household data from the Multi-Indicator Cluster Survey 2018 by the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). Based upon the household data census 2017, the sample of households was picked in two stages. At the primary stage, Primary Sampling Units (PSUs) and enumeration blocks were chosen, and at the second stage, 20 households were nominated through systematic sampling with random initiate from each PSU.

Results: The analysis has been done with the help of descriptive statistics of the respondents of the study, association tests, and logistic regression. The descriptive statistics of the respondents to the access to safe drinking water and sanitation respectively, approximately 15% of the sampled household were selected for water quality tests, so access to safe drinking water can be assessed only for a small number of households. The data of 3756 households have been used in the access to safe drinking water analysis. This study showed that 66% of households have access to safe drinking water and around 34% do not have access to safe drinking water. The total number of households with access to poor sanitation analysis is 47,554. It was evident that around 78% of households have access to better sanitation and around 22% do not have access to improved sanitation.

Conclusion: Access to safe drinking water and sanitation is a fundamental human right. However, developing countries like Pakistan are facing problems with providing these facilities to the masses. Punjab, the most populous province of Pakistan accounting for more than 50% population of the country, is no exception. There is a serious need to address the issue, which calls for an appropriate understanding of the significant determinants to obtain safe drinking water and improved sanitation. The government should focus on the provision of water and sanitation in schools, Basic Health Units, Rural Health Centers, and public places like bus stops, railway stations, and public parks.

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