Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are essential for preventing and managing diseases including neglected tropical diseases (NTD) which affect over 1 billion people among the poorest communities.
Closer coordination of WASH and NTD programmes is needed to ensure WASH services are reaching the most vulnerable populations. Many WASH and NTD actors have started to work together on the planning and implementation of their projects and have documented their experiences and lessons learnt.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a paper that draws on examples from eighteen countries to summarise emerging successes and challenges. Several examples relate to WASH in Schools projects. Two case studies are highlighted: the Lao PDR and Cambodia CL-SWASH initiative and the CARE Integrated WASH and NTDs Programme in Ethiopia.
WHO, 2017. Water, sanitation and hygiene to combat neglected tropical diseases : initial lessons from project implementation. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization. 6 p. WHO reference number: WHO/FWC/WSH/17.02. Available at: www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/publications/wash-to-combat-neglected-tropical-diseases/en/
Published on Aug 22, 2016
A scaling up rural sanitation program in Champasak and Sekong provinces was the first government-led Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and sanitation marketing pilot in Lao PDR. The program has stimulated considerable interest in, and support for, the approach within the National Center for Environmental Health and Water Supply (Nam Saat) of the Ministry of Health.
A short advocacy video, “Latrine Makes Good Business”, aims to encourage potential entrepreneurs to explore the sanitation business. It highlights a market opportunity for an aspirational and affordable sanitation product that provides customers with a one-stop service. The video briefly introduces sanitation marketing interventions that are being undertaken and collaboration with the public sector to facilitate connections between suppliers and consumers.
Endemicity of Zoonotic Diseases in Pigs and Humans in Lowland and Upland Lao PDR: Identification of Socio-cultural Risk Factors. PLoS Neg Trop Dis, April 2016. Authors: Hannah R. Holt , Phouth Inthavong, et al.
In Lao PDR, pigs are an important source of food and income and are kept by many rural residents. This study investigated five diseases that are transmitted between pigs and humans (zoonoses), namely hepatitis E, Japanese encephalitis, trichinellosis, cysticercosis and taeniasis. Humans and pigs in Lao PDR were tested for antibodies against the agents (pathogens) responsible for these diseases. Human participants were classified into three groups or “clusters” based on hygiene and sanitation practices, pig contact and pork consumption.
Cluster 1 had low pig contact and good hygiene practice. Cluster 2 had moderate hygiene practices: around half used toilets and protected water sources; most people washed their hands after using the toilet and boiled water prior to consumption. Most people in this cluster were involved in pig slaughtering, drank pigs’ blood and were more likely test positive for antibodies against hepatitis E and Japanese encephalitis viruses. Finally, people in cluster 3 had lowest access to sanitation facilities, were most likely to have pigs in the household and had the highest risk of hepatitis E, taeniasis and cysticercosis.
The diseases in this study pose a significant threat to public health and impact pig production. This study identified characteristics of high-risk individuals and areas with high disease burden and could be used to target future disease control activities to those most vulnerable.
Research Brief: The Economic Returns of Sanitation Interventions in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 2013.
Water and Sanitation Program.
- Sanitation interventions have very favorable socio-economic returns to households and society, contributing to improved health, clean environment, dignity and quality of life, among many other beneﬁts
- Economic efﬁciency of improved sanitation can be optimized by improving program performance, which leads to sustained behavior change
- Sanitation solutions in urban areas that involve wastewater management are potentially cost-beneﬁcial, despite not all beneﬁts having been included.
- Improved hygiene and sanitation conditions in institutions, public places and tourist sites are important to attract more businesses and tourists to Lao PDR.
VIENTIANE, Lao PDR, 30 January 2008 – The first outbreak of cholera in southern Lao People’s Democratic Republic in nearly eight years has prompted a vigorous response from UNICEF and its partners.
Securing safe water and adequate sanitation is essential in tackling cholera, a water-borne disease. As such, immediate support has included chlorinating water sources, repairing damaged bore holes and educating villagers on hygiene.
Read more: Tom Greenwood, UNICEF, 30 Jan 2008