Category Archives: Sanitation and Health

USAID – Infographic: Tackling Water Scarcity and Sanitation Challenges Across the Middle East

Infographic: Tackling Water Scarcity and Sanitation Challenges Across the Middle East, December 15, 2016. USAID. MENA_Water_infographic-V3.png

The American people, through USAID, have been investing in the water sector across the Middle East to improve access to clean water, reduce water losses, facilitate sustainable use of limited resources and improve access to sanitation.

Egypt
2.2 Million People – Since 2008, USAID invested in water systems and wastewater treatment plants, helping 2.2 million people gain access to clean water and sanitation.

850 Kilometers of Water Pipelines – Since 2012, USAID funded construction of 850+ kilometers of pipelines that serve 1.8+ million people in rural areas –many of whom received access to drinking water and sanitation for the first time.

Capacity Building – USAID supported billing and operation systems to strengthen and build the capacity of institutions.

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Slum health is not urban health: why we must distinguish between the two

Slum health is not urban health: why we must distinguish between the two. Econo Times, January 8, 2017.

We live in an urban century. Already more than 50% of the global population lives in urban areas. The United Nations estimates that by 2030 five billion of the world’s population of eight billion will be urban. Most of the growth in urban areas is expected to occur in the developing countries of Africa and Asia, continuing a trend seen in the past decade.

Rapid urbanisation in developing countries has been characterised by an accompanying proliferation of slum areas. Cities such as Nairobi, Kenya; Mumbai, India and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are home to some of the world’s largest slum areas. Sub-Saharan Africa has an especially high number of slum inhabitants: 62% of its urban population lives in slums.

Slums constitute a large part of today’s urban reality and will likely persist as a significant feature in our urban future for decades to come. By 2030, projections indicate that two billion of the global urban population will live in slums, mostly in Africa and Asia.

Despite increased global awareness about the presence and persistence of slums, the health of their inhabitants is a little-studied phenomenon. The health of the urban poor, people with low socio-economic status living in urban areas, is usually conflated with that of slum dwellers. However, health outcomes for these two groups of urban populations often differ given the spatial differences of the areas they live in.

Slums are characterised by densely packed settlements with inadequate provision of services and infrastructure. These include sanitation, water, electricity, waste management and security among others. These conditions expose residents of slum areas to the spread of disease and poor health outcomes that are fuelled by their intimately shared environments.

Neighbourhood effects

The mechanism through which densely packed environments affect slum residents’ health is termed neighbourhood effects.

The influence of neighbourhood effects may result in poor health outcomes for slum inhabitants in comparison to non-slum dwellers. Studies done by the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) have shown that child mortality is higher in slums than in non-slum areas and even in rural regions.

Residents of slums are also likely to experience higher rates of undernutrition compared to those from non-slum areas. This may lead to stunted growth and development among children. There tends to be a high transmission rate of infectious diseases in these overcrowded areas because waste collection, water and sanitation are lacking.

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Why has Zimbabwe banned street food?

Why has Zimbabwe banned street food? TRT World, January 9, 2017.

The government is trying to control a typhoid outbreak caused by poor sanitation and unregulated water supplies. The ban on street food has been put in place to prevent the water-borne disease from spreading. 

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Under the ban, food, including fruit and vegetable, can no longer be sold at road side stalls.

How does the ban work?

The ban was imposed in Zimbabwe’s capital and most populous city, Harare.

Under the ban, food, including fruits and vegetables, can no longer be sold at road side stalls.

But the implementation of the order maybe a problem as the city does not have the capacity or the manpower to enforce the ban, a local government official said.

“The city of Harare itself also needs a very strong environment division. I think this has been absent and the municipal police must also do their work. I think those two, if we can have the right skills in those sectors, we should have order in Harare,” Zimbabwe’s Minister of Local Government Saviour Kasukuwere said.

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Appraising the Sanitation and Hygiene Situation in Urban India and its Determinants

Published on Dec 15, 2016
Dr Papiya Guha Mazumdar, Associate Professor, Institute of Public Health Kalyani, West Bengal delivered lecture and highlighted the need to improve existing sanitation and hygiene situation in urban India, how the determinants should be decided and why behaviour change as a critical determinant needs to be looked at in greater detail.

She emphasized that building knowledge on good practices of sanitation and hygiene related behaviour change, and drawing relevant lessons for preparing a plan of action for sustainable development is extremely important. She discussed through a few good case studies how interventions have helped.

 

Is Exposure to Animal Feces Harmful to Child Nutrition and Health Outcomes? A Multicountry Observational Analysis

Is Exposure to Animal Feces Harmful to Child Nutrition and Health Outcomes? A Multicountry Observational Analysis. Amer Jnl Trop Med & Hyg, Dec 2016.

Authors: Derek Headey, Phuong Nguyen, et . al.

It has recently been hypothesized that exposure to livestock constitutes a significant risk factor for diarrhea and environmental enteric disorder in young children, which may significantly contribute to undernutrition. To date, though, very little research has documented the extent of exposure to animal feces and whether this exposure is associated with child anthropometry in large samples and diverse settings.

This study investigates these issues using data from the Alive and Thrive study conducted in rural areas of Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. These surveys used spot-checks to collect data on proxies of hygiene behaviors such as the cleanliness of mothers, young children, and the homestead environment, including the presence of animal feces. Animal feces were visible in 38–42% of household compounds across the three countries and were positively associated with household livestock ownership and negatively associated with maternal and child cleanliness.

One-sided tests from multivariate least squares models for children 6–24 months of age indicate that the presence of animal feces is significantly and negatively associated with child height-for-age z scores in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and in a pooled sample, but not in Vietnam.

There is also suggestive evidence that animal feces may be positively associated with diarrhea symptoms in Bangladesh. The results in this article, therefore, contribute to a growing body of evidence suggesting that animal ownership may pose a significant risk to child nutrition and health outcomes in developing countries.

WASH Benefits studies published in 2016

WASH Benefits Studies Published in 2016 – The WASH Benefits Study provides rigorous evidence on the health and developmental benefits of water quality, sanitation, handwashing, and nutritional interventions during the first years of life. The study includes two, cluster-randomized controlled trials to measure the impact of intervention among newborn infants in rural Bangladesh and Kenya. The studies are large in scope (> 5,000 newborns per country) and will measure primary outcomes after two years of intervention.

December 2016 – Adapting and Evaluating a Rapid, Low-Cost Method to Enumerate Flies in the Household Setting. Marlene K. Wolfe, Holly N. Dentz, Beryl Achando, MaryAnne Mureithi, Tim Wolfe, Clair Null, Amy J. Pickering. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2016 16-0162.

October 2016 – Occurrence of Host-Associated Fecal Markers on Child Hands, Household Soil, and Drinking Water in Rural Bangladeshi Households. Alexandria B. Boehm, Dan Wang, Ayse Ercumen, Meghan Shea, Angela R. Harris, Orin C. Shanks, Catherine Kelty, Alvee Ahmed, Zahid Hayat Mahmud, Benjamin F. Arnold, Claire Chase, Craig Kullmann, John M. Colford Jr., Stephen P. Luby, and Amy J. Pickering. Publication Date (Web): October 13, 2016. Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett.  DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00382.

June 2016 – Towards a Scalable and Sustainable Intervention for Complementary Food Safety.  Rahman MJ, Nizame FA, Nuruzzaman M, Akand F, Islam MA, Parvez SM, Stewart CP, Unicomb L, Luby SP, Winch PJ. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2016 Jun;37(2):186-201.

June 2016 – Hygiene Practices During Food Preparation in Rural Bangladesh: Opportunities to Improve the Impact of Handwashing Interventions. Fosiul A. Nizame, Elli Leontsini, Stephen P. Luby, Md. Nuruzzaman, Shahana Parveen, Peter J. Winch, Pavani K. Ram, Leanne Unicomb. Published online June 13, 2016, doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.15-0377. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2016 vol. 95 no. 2 288-297.

June 2016 – Soil-Transmitted Helminth Eggs Are Present in Soil at Multiple Locations within Households in Rural Kenya. Lauren Steinbaum, Sammy M. Njenga, Jimmy Kihara, Alexandria B. Boehm, Jennifer Davis, Clair Null, Amy J. Pickering. PLOS ONE, Published: June 24, 2016.

June 2016 – Hand- and Object-Mouthing of Rural Bangladeshi Children 3–18 Months Old. Kwong LH, Ercumen A, Pickering AJ, Unicomb L, Davis J, Luby SP. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Jun 4;13(6).

May 2016 – Vitamin B-12 Concentrations in Breast Milk Are Low and Are Not Associated with Reported Household Hunger, Recent Animal-Source Food, or Vitamin B-12 Intake in Women in Rural Kenya. Williams AM, Chantry CJ, Young SL, Achando BS, Allen LH, Arnold BF, Colford JM Jr, Dentz HN, Hampel D, Kiprotich MC, Lin A, Null CA,Nyambane GM, Shahab-Ferdows S, Stewart CP. J Nutr. 2016 May;146(5):1125-31.

Oxford researchers say African girls need just two things to stay in school

Oxford researchers say African girls need just two things to stay in school. Quartz, December 21, 2016.

Social scientists and educators have experimented with many ways to incentivize girls from low-income backgrounds in developing countries to stay in school including providing lunch, bicycles, and toiletsschools

While there has been considerable improvement in getting girls to enroll in primary schools, it’s proven harder to keep school attendance up in higher grades. In Uganda, 91% girls are enrolled in primary schools, but that figure falls to 22% for secondary schools.

Now a new study led by Paul Montgomery, a professor of psychosocial intervention at Oxford University, shows that there’s a pretty simple way to boost secondary school attendance in girls in Africa: give them sanitary pads and lessons on puberty.

The new paper, published Dec. 21 in PLOS One, builds on a 2008 pilot study in Ghana, also carried out by Oxford researchers, which showed that the first instance of menstruation triggered a drop in school attendance for young girls. The researchers note that in several developing countries, there is a stigma attached to menstruation and that girls are seen as “dirty” while on their period—one of the main reasons they stay home from school at the time. It’s also often difficult for girls in rural areas to find sanitary pads; many rely on absorbent cloth, which can leak and stain school uniforms.

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