Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), environmental enteropathy, nutrition, and early child development: making the links

The authors of this article reviewed evidence linking WASH, anemia, and child growth, and highlighted pathways through which WASH may affect early child development, primarily through inflammation, stunting, and anemia. They described the role of environmental enteropathy, a prevalent subclinical condition of the gut, as a potential key mediating pathway linking poor hygiene to developmental deficits. The authors proposed the concept of expanding WASH to include behaviors that will interrupt the key fecal-oral vectors of babies’ hands and hand-to-mouth activity and coined it “Baby WASH.”

Ngure, Francis M., Brianna M. Reid, Jean H. Humphrey, Mduduzi N. Mbuya, Gretel Pelto, and Rebecca J. Stoltzfus. "Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), Environmental Enteropathy, Nutrition, and Early Child Development: Making the Links." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1308 (2014): 118-28.