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Review Paper: Multiple and complex links between babyWASH and stunting: an evidence synthesis

Amy Waller | Monica Lakhanpaul | Samuel Godfrey | Priti Parikh
Year Published:
Resource Type:
Evaluations and Research

This paper reviews the literature regarding these links, and the efficacy of both general WASH interventions and those targeted at children in their first 1,000 days, known as babyWASH, for stunting reduction. Fifty-nine papers published between 2008 and 2019 were reviewed, retrieved from Science Direct, Scopus and Web of Science databases, comprising field trials and data analysis, and literature and systematic reviews. Key findings showed that stunting is directly attributed to diarrhoea, environmental enteric dysfunction and undernutrition although a more comprehensive understanding of these biological mechanisms is necessary. Interventions to interrupt the faecal transmission cycle proved to effectively reduce stunting rates, particularly improved sanitation facilities to reduce open defaecation, increased proximity to water and widespread behavioural change. This is a review paper from the Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development