WASH and Nutrition Interventions for Child Growth and Development: Results from the WASH-Benefits and SHINE Trials
Enteric infections are known to contribute to poor growth and development in children under two years, and can be reduced with optimal water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). However, the direct link between WASH and child growth is less understood. The WASH-Benefits and the SHINE Trials, both recently completed, studied the impact of WASH and nutrition interventions delivered alone and in combination to test for synergistic effects on child growth and diarrhea in the first two years of life. These trials used similar study designs, enrolling pregnant women in rural Bangladesh, Kenya, and Zimbabwer and following their children during the first 18-27 months of life.
The results of the trials are very consistent: although the nutrition interventions modestly improved growth, the WASH interventions did not have independent effects on growth, nor did they strengthen the effect of the nutrition intervention when delivered in combination. In contrast to prior studies and the WASH interventions in Bangladesh, the WASH interventions in Kenya and Zimbabwe did not significantly reduce diarrhea.
What does this mean for current and future WASH, nutrition and health programming? Join the World Bank's Water and Nutrition Teams for presentations on these findings and a lively discussion on what's next for WASH and nutrition.
For more information, email Luke Gates at email@example.com.