Incontinence – the involuntary loss of urine or feces – is a global health, protection, and social care challenge that has a significant impact on the quality of life of people that experience the condition, and those who care for people that do. In higher-income countries with well-developed healthcare systems and high levels of access to sanitation and hygiene facilities, experience shows that simple behavioral changes and technologies can bring dramatic improvements to the quality of life of those who endure the condition daily. It is hoped that adopting such methods for managing incontinence to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) will also benefit residents that experience the condition, or who care for people that do.
This issue of Frontiers of Sanitation aims to provide the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector with:
- A basic introduction to incontinence and the realities that people living with incontinence face
- Practical suggestions for how to identify and engage with people living with incontinence to start ‘talking about leaks’; an
- Practical suggestions for the WASH sector (and others) to contribute to reducing inequalities associated with incontinence.