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Global child health: Water, sanitation, hygiene and enteric infections in children

In this article, we review the evidence linking WSH measures to faecal-oral diseases in children. Although continued research is needed, existing evidence from the last 150 years supports extending life-saving WSH measures to at-risk populations worldwide. One recent estimate held that 95% of diarrhoeal deaths in children under 5 years of age could be prevented by 2025, at a cost of US$6.715 billion, through targeted scale-up of proven, cost-effective, life-saving interventions. These include access to safe and accessible excreta disposal, support for basic hygiene practices such as hand washing with soap, and provision of a safe and reliable water supply. We present estimates of the burden of WSH-related disease followed by brief overviews of water, sanitation and hygiene-related transmission routes and control measures. We conclude with a summary of current international targets and progress.  The paper can be found at Arch Dis Child archdischild-2011-301528Published Online First: 12 June 2013 doi:10.1136/archdischild-2011-301528

Author: Brown J, Cairncross S, Ensink JHJ

Published: 19/06/2013

Publication Type: Review