Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Programs as a Strategy to Advance Maternal Health

Of all the Millennium Development Goals, the maternal health and sanitation targets are among the farthest off track, said Rebecca Fishman, operations and special projects director of WASH Advocates.

An estimated 800 women die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes every day, and 20 times that number suffer non-lethal, but no less life-altering, complications. At the same time, 780 million people are without access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion lack access to safe sanitation.

What is the interaction between these two trends – poor maternal health and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)? And could there be ways to address both in developing countries? To commemorate International Women’s Day and World Water Day, a panel of experts gathered to discuss at the Wilson Center on March 10.

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