Action Against Hunger promotes the adoption of the BabyWASH concept and package by its operations and partners, and believes that it can be implemented on a large scale. For this, we advocate for governments to make water, sanitation and hygiene part of all strategies and plans to reduce child mortality and improve nutrition.
Poor sanitation and hygiene (S&H) conditions are thought to be one of the main causes of child stunting. Globally, 24 per cent of children under five are estimated to be stunted, with Asia and sub-Saharan Africa the two regions carrying most of this burden. Stunting has severe short-term and long-term consequences for children’s development. Its causes are multiple and complex, but go beyond dietary intake.
The BabyWASH concept has recently emerged to link the sectors of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition, maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH), and early childhood development (ECD). Its goal is to have a more profound impact on child health outcomes in order to improve wellbeing in the first 1,000 days of life.
This Action Against Hunger report explains how the BabyWASH approach can contribute directly to the organisation’s vision of eradicating hunger and undernutrition, and, in particular, stunting. It proposes a package of activities targeted at households, aiming to complement existing programmes that address other WASH needs, such as health centres and schools.