Urinary incontinence in children aged 5 to 12 in an emergency setting: lessons learned in Ethiopia
This scoping study aimed to be the first to explore the number of children aged 5 to 12 in an emergency setting (Tukaley village, Ethiopia) wetting themselves, and demand for support to manage self-wetting in the home. A survey asked 524 children about their latrine behaviours; and 312 adult caregivers about the latrine behaviours of the children aged 5 to 12 they care for. Few adult caregivers (1 per cent) indicated that children were self-wetting during the day and/or night, and only one child indicated self-wetting (during the day). Yet the survey revealed demand from adult caregivers for household items typically used to manage involuntary self-wetting. This could suggest self-wetting is occurring, but there is a reluctance to disclose it. Given the impact of self-wetting on the lives of children and their adult caregivers, it would be unethical for it not to be considered when developing emergency programmes across sectors including the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector. With further research and modifications to the survey, it could provide greater clarity on the number of children self-wetting and the scale of demand for support to inform emergency programme design.