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WaterAid’s reflections on the results of the WASH Benefits Trials – Kenya and Bangladesh

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In January and February 2018, the first of the WASH Benefits trials findings were published in the Lancet Global Health from Bangladesh and Kenya. The trials aim to add to the evidence base on the impact of WASH and nutrition interventions combined or alone on child health and development in the first two years of life. A key finding in both countries was that there appears to be no related benefit of integrating WASH with nutrition interventions on linear growth and stunting - this seems to go against an otherwise growing body of evidence that suggests a strong link between poor WASH and stunting.

This note created by WaterAid has been put together to help staff and other actors working on nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to understand the results and implications of these studies, and to interpret the results in light of the full body of evidence on WASH and nutrition. For example, when reading these results we need to consider that the health benefits of sanitation do not come solely from personal use of improved sanitation facilities, but from improved community coverage and decreasing open defecation more broadly.

WaterAid published a blog on their reflections and the full analysis is below.


Date: 20 March 2018