Tag Archives: Duncan Mara

Duncan Mara – The elimination of open defecation and its adverse health effects: a moral imperative for governments and development professionals

The elimination of open defecation and its adverse health effects: a moral imperative for governments and development professionalsJournal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, February 2017. 1.cover-source

In 2015 there were 965 million people in the world forced to practise open defecation (OD). The adverse health effects of OD are many: acute effects include infectious intestinal diseases, including diarrheal diseases which are exacerbated by poor water supplies, sanitation and hygiene; adverse pregnancy outcomes; and life-threatening violence against women and girls.

Chronic effects include soil-transmitted helminthiases, increased anaemia, giardiasis, environmental enteropathy and small intestine bacterial overgrowth, and stunting and long-term impaired cognition. If OD elimination by 2030 is to be accelerated, then a clear understanding is needed of what prevents and what drives the transition from OD to using a latrine.

Sanitation marketing, behaviour change communication, and ‘enhanced’ community-led total sanitation (‘CLTSþ ’), supplemented by ‘nudging’, are the three most likely joint strategies to enable communities, both rural and periurban, to become completely OD-free and remain so.

It will be a major Sanitation Challenge to achieve the elimination of OD by 2030, but helping the poorest currently plagued by OD and its serious adverse health effects should be our principal task as we seek to achieve the sanitation target of the Sustainable Development Goals – indeed it is a moral imperative for all governments and development professionals.

Duncan Mara – Water & Sanitation Symposium 2011

Sanitation: What are the Problems? – Opinion piece by Prof. Duncan Mara

Why are many so many developing countries doing so badly in providing all their citizens with good sanitation, Prof. Duncan Mara, University of Leeds, asks?. The technical solutions and finance are available, but aid agencies need to focus more on technical training and technical assistance.

[S]enior politicians and senior civil servants do not seem to think that thinking clean or investing in clean is that important (and, of course, there can be no solutions without political solutions). Another huge problem is the technical ignorance of local engineers who are generally paid too little to be motivated to correct this. And, of course, there’s too much corruption in general and in the water and sanitation sector in particular.

Read the full opinion piece on the IRC web site.

Do you agree with Prof. Mara’s analysis? Join the debate and add your comments online at: www.irc.nl/page/61983 (scroll down to the end of the article).

Sanitation icon retires: Valedictory Symposium announced for Professor Duncan Mara

Prof. Duncan Mara

Professor Duncan Mara retired from the University of Leeds, UK, in September 2010. To celebrate his work and achievements a Valedictory Symposium (the Global Public Health Crisis) and Dinner will be held on 13 January 2011 at the university.

The meeting will be in the format of a Royal Society Discussion meeting with ample time for debate and contributions from the floor. Speakers, representing different strands of Professor Mara’s career and legacy, include Sir Richard Feacham of UCSF, Professor Tom Curtis of Newcastle University, Graham Alabaster of UN Habitat, Martin Gambrill of the World Bank and Barbara Evans of the University of Leeds.

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