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The Full form of ODF is Open Defecation Free. It is known as the human practice of defecating in the open environment (outside) rather than into a toilet. People may choose ditches, streets, fields, bushes, forests, canals or other open space for defecation. They do open defecation because either they do not have a readily accessible toilet or due to traditional cultural practices. This practice is common in areas where sanitation services and infrastructure are not available.

Even if toilets are readily available in some areas, behavior change efforts in people may still be needed to promote the use of toilets. The term ODF (Open Defecation Free) is used to describe communities that have shifted to using a toilet instead of open defecation. This can happen when total sanitation programs in community-led areas have been implemented. Seventy-six percent of the 892 million people (around 678 million people) practicing open defecation in the world live in just 7 countries. Open defecation can cause various types of health problems and also pollute the environment. High levels of open defecation are directly linked to poor nutrition, poverty, high child mortality, and large disparities between rich and poor.

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