Citizens' Issues
Lack of toilets affect pregnancy outcomes
Poor sanitation practices, such as open defecation, are affecting pregnancy outcomes of Indian women, especially premature birth, says a study.
 
The research, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, studied pregnancy outcomes in two rural areas of Odisha.
 
Bijaya K. Padhi from the Asian Institute of Public Health, Bhubaneswar, and colleagues enrolled 670 women during the first trimester of their pregnancy, recorded information about toilet access and sanitation practices for each woman at enrollment, and followed them through pregnancy until birth.
 
They found that compared with women who used a latrine, women who defecated in the open had a significantly greater risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes overall and preterm birth, but not low birth weight.
 
Although the researchers adjusted for numerous confounding factors in their analysis, including poverty, social class, and caste, the women who defecated in the open may have shared other unknown characteristics that were actually responsible for their increased risk of an adverse pregnancy outcome.
 
"This study indicates that in the context of maternal and child health prevention research, sanitation is an important dimension of women's health and distinct from social class and caste," said senior study author Pinaki Panigrahi from the University of Nebraska in the US.

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Xfinity Extreme Premier Triple Play
Consumer says he was charged for installation despite a mailing that promised it would be free of charge
 
This offer from Comcast to upgrade to Xfinity’s Extreme Premier Triple Play — a bundle for TV, Internet and phone — recently materialized in a TINA.org reader’s mailbox. The reader, enticed in part by the promise of “free installation,” signed up for the bundle and within a few weeks had everything installed.
 
Then he got an email with a breakdown of all the new charges. Slipped under “Other Charges & Credits,” he said: A one-time installation charge of $50. The reader vented his frustration in an email to TINA.org (emphasis added):
 
I called Xfinity and told them that the promotion stated FREE installation. I was told, almost like I should have known it, that the FREE installation was for the Internet and TV part of the promotion … that the $50 installation charge was for the phone.
 
The reader said he assumed that installation on the whole package would be free of charge — a reasonable deduction with the words “free installation” under the monthly cost of the entire bundle and not just the cost for TV and Internet. He ended his email to TINA.org with a nod to consumers, albeit on a somber note:
 
I think that this is a common mistake. Sometimes we read something that says “free,” and we think that they mean “free.”
 
How foolish of us. But it’s true that free doesn’t usually mean free — especially when it comes to cable companies whose customers have long complained about hidden fees. Consumers need to question this four-letter word.
 
Find more of our coverage on Comcast here
 

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