Category Archives: Sanitation and Health

Dean Spears on what motivated ‘Where India Goes?’

Dean Spears on what motivated ‘Where India Goes?’ Community Led Total Sanitation, March 30, 2018.

In this short video interview Dean Spears (Executive Director, RICE/Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Texas at Austin) talks about the key motivations behind the award-winning book he co-authored with Diane Coffey, ‘Where India Goes: Abandoned toilets, stunted development, and the cost of caste.’ Dean Spears_0

The book addresses a central puzzle: why is open defecation so persistently high in rural India?

And what to do about it?

It presents evidence showing that poor sanitation is an important determinant of the poor health outcomes of India’s children, and that the continuing relevance of the purity, pollution and untouchability norms of the caste system keeps open defecation alive today despite decades of government latrine construction programmes.

The main motivation for writing the book as Dean reflects in the interview, ‘hopefully it will get people involved and excited about trial and error around these solutions to these problems of purity and pollution and latrine pits filling up. Hopefully that can lead to something that really can accelerate the decline of open defecation in rural India.’

USAID Webinar – Toward a Hygienic Environment for Infants and Young Children: A Review

Toward a Hygienic Environment for Infants and Young Children: A Review

This United States Agency for International development (USAID) webinar to discusses findings from the recent report, “Toward a Hygienic Environment for Infants and Young Children: A Review of the Literature.”

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USAID recently completed this review of the scientific and grey literature to capture the state of knowledge of the health risks to infants and young children from fecal exposure in their home environments, focusing on historically underemphasized sources and transmission pathways not disrupted by the traditional suite of WASH measures.

The review is complemented by an array of interviews with researchers and practitioners and includes two central findings: (1) domestic animal excreta may be a significant source of risk; and (2) direct ingestion of pathogens via eating feces, dirt (geophagy) and/or mouthing behaviors represent important paths of transmission. Technological and behavioral measures that reduce exposure to excreta in play spaces are of growing interest for the protection of infant and child health.

In this webinar, Julia Rosenbaum, along with Francis Ngure and Jeff Albert will present highlights from the desk review, share key lessons for implementers, and share the project’s next steps in this area.

Learn more about the literature review: http://www.tetratech.com/en/documents/toward-a-hygienic-environment-for-infants-and-young-children-a-review-of-the-literature

What the Color Blue Can Reveal About Pathogens and Contamination

What the Color Blue Can Reveal About Pathogens and Contamination. DipNote, March 27, 2018.

The pace of progress in global health is determined by our ability to seed, nurture and spread innovation. Through Grand Challenges for Development, USAID uncovers promising ideas and applies rigorous, market-oriented approaches to cut the time it takes to transform ideas in a lab to impact on the ground.

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Katherine Jin and Jason Kang observe health care workers testing Highlight in Guinea. (Kevin Tyan)

In the midst of the 2014 Ebola epidemic, Columbia University juniors Katherine Jin, Jason Kang and Kevin Tyan participated in the Columbia Ebola Design Challenge to see if they could find a way to contribute to the global community’s response to the epidemic in West Africa.

In answer to the Design Challenge, they developed a powder that adds color to bleach to increase its effectiveness as a decontaminant and ensure the safety of health care workers in places affected by infectious disease outbreaks.

Read the complete article.

Impact of Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hand Washing with Soap on Childhood Diarrhoeal Disease

Link to full-text – Impact of Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hand Washing with Soap on Childhood Diarrhoeal Disease: Updated Meta-Analysis and –RegressionTropical Medicine and International Health, 14 March 2018.

Authors: Jennyfer Wolf, Paul R. Hunter, Matthew C. Freeman, Oliver Cumming, Thomas Clasen, Jamie Bartram, Julian P. T. Higgins, Richard Johnston, Kate Medlicott, Sophie Boisson, Annette Prüss-Us

This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1111/tmi.13051

Objectives – Safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene are protective against diarrhoeal disease; a leading cause of child mortality. The main objective was an updated assessment of the impact of unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) on childhood diarrhoeal disease.

Methods – We undertook a systematic review of articles published between 1970 and February 2016. Study results were combined and analysed using meta-analysis and meta-regression.

Results – A total of 135 studies met the inclusion criteria. Several water, sanitation and hygiene interventions were associated with lower risk of diarrhoeal morbidity.

  • Point-of-use filter interventions with safe storage reduced diarrhoea risk by 61% (RR=0.39; 95% CI: 0.32, 0.48);
  • piped water to premises of higher quality and continuous availability by 75% and 36% (RR=0.25 (0.09, 0.67) and 0.64 (0.42, 0.98)), respectively compared to a baseline of unimproved drinking water;
  • sanitation interventions by 25% (RR=0.75 (0.63, 0.88)) with evidence for greater reductions when high sanitation coverage is reached; and interventions promoting handwashing with soap by 30% (RR=0.70 (0.64, 0.77)) versus no intervention.
  • Results of the analysis of sanitation and hygiene interventions are sensitive to certain differences in study methods and conditions. Correcting for non-blinding would reduce the associations with diarrhoea to some extent.

Conclusions – Though evidence is limited, results suggest that household connections of water supply and higher levels of community coverage for sanitation appear particularly impactful which is in line with targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Olivia Onyemaobi, the Nigerian social entrepreneur improving menstrual hygiene management education in her country

Olivia Onyemaobi, the Nigerian social entrepreneur improving menstrual hygiene management education in her country. Lionesses of Africa, March 1, 2018.

Personal experiences and the desire to make a difference in the lives of others are often the two key drivers of social entrepreneurs when it comes to starting up their businesses. For Nigerian social entrepreneur, Olivia Onyemaobi, founder of Pad-Up Creations, her inspiration came from the need to help women and girls to manage their menstrual hygiene and fulfill their potential.

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Olivia Onyemaobi, founder of Pad-Up Creations (Nigeria)

What does your company do?

We are a social enterprise in Nigeria manufacturing affordable and eco-friendly washable/reusable sanitary pads to help keep girls in schools during their menstrual cycle and also improve women’s economic involvement in society. We also organize menstrual hygiene management and reproductive health education in schools and women groups.

Read the complete article.

Sanitary Napkin PadBank: Here’s How Some Women Are Pushing The Menstrual Hygiene Cause

Sanitary Napkin PadBank: Here’s How Some Women Are Pushing The Menstrual Hygiene Cause. Banega Swachh India, March 7, 2018.

From an MLA initiating India’s first sanitary PadBank to a 16-year-old coming forward to help the girls of her age, PadBanks being run by different women are emerging to be an important mechanism to provide sanitary napkins to women without means. Here are five such PadBanks

Move over PadMan, PadBanks are now what many are adopting to reach out to women with no access or awareness about menstrual hygiene. These PadBanks retain the basic functionality of a bank, but instead of money these dispense sanitary pad, either from free or charge a discounted rate.

While some women are providing sanitary napkins at a cheaper rate, others are breaking the myths and taboos associated with menstruation by making people aware. These women are not only challenging the societal norms, but have also made it their mission to raise the level of menstrual hygiene in Indiaindia

In India, 88 per cent of menstruating women do not use sanitary napkins. Be it ignorance or lack of affordability, the fact is that majority of women in India rely on unhygienic alternatives during periods.

In a bid to change this reality, women in India are providing sanitary napkins to less fortunate women and girls.

Read the complete article.

Toward a Hygienic Environment for Infants and Young Children: A Review of the Literature – USAID/WASHpals

Toward a Hygienic Environment for Infants and Young Children: A Review of the Literature. USAID Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS), February 2018.

 For nearly six decades, the routes of pathogen transmission from human excreta to a new host have been reflected in the seminal “F-diagram” via fluids, fingers, flies, fields (floors, earth, dirt), and fomites (surfaces).

The WASHPaLS project conducted a review of the scientific and grey literature, complemented by dozens of key informant interviews with researchers and practitioners, to re-examine the F-diagram, highlighting the underemphasized sources of pathogens and transmission pathways that are of particular relevance to the health of infant and young children (IYC) and not disrupted by the traditional suite of WASH measures.

These are:

  • domestic animal excreta as a source of risk, and
  • direct ingestion of pathogens via eating feces, dirt (geophagy) or through mouthing behaviors as additional pathways.