This study aims to understand associations between water, sanitation, and child growth.
Results indicate that access to improved sanitation is more frequently associated with reduced stunting risk than access to improved water. However, additional studies are needed before drawing definitive conclusions about the impact of toilets relative to water.
This study is the first to the authors’ knowledge to demonstrate the robust and persistent importance of access to improved toilets in infancy, not only during the first year but continuing into childhood. Additional longitudinal investigations are needed to determine concurrent and long-term associations of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) with stunting and thinness.
This study is part of Young Lives, an international study of childhood poverty, following the lives of 12,000 children in 4 countries (Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam) over 15 years. Young Lives is funded by the UK Department for International Development
Dearden, Kirk, Whitney Schott, Benjamin T. Crookston, Debbie L. Humphries, Mary E. Penny, Jere R. Behrman and the Young Lives Determinants and Consequences of Child Growth Project Team. (2017) Children with access to improved sanitation but not improved water are at lower risk of stunting compared to children without access: a cohort study in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam’ in: BMC Public Health. 2017; 17: 110.
Children with access to improved sanitation but not improved water are at lower risk of stunting compared to children without access: a cohort study in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam