The implications of three major new trials for the effect of water, sanitation and hygiene on childhood diarrhea and stunting: a consensus statement

This paper by Cumming et al. (2019) was published in BMC Medicine. It discusses three large studies that focussed on WASH and childhood stunting: WASH Benefits Bangladesh, WASH Benefits Kenya and SHINE. The three trials found no effect of basic WASH interventions on childhood stunting, and only mixed effects on childhood diarrhea. These results clearly warrant the attention of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners. This paper reports the conclusions of an expert meeting convened by the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to discuss these findings, and present five key consensus messages as a basis for wider discussion and debate in the WASH and nutrition sectors. The paper concludes that more comprehensive or ambitious WASH interventions may be needed to achieve a major impact on child health.



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