The Implications of Three Major New Trials for the Effect of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene on Childhood Diarrhea and Stunting: A Consensus Statement

August 2019

Three large new trials of unprecedented scale and cost were found to have no effect of basic sanitation and hygiene interventions on childhood stunting, and only mixed effects on childhood diarrhea. This article reports back on feedback offered in an expert meeting was convened by the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The authors of the article judge these trials to have high internal validity, constituting good evidence that these specific interventions had no effect on childhood linear growth, and mixed effects on childhood diarrhea. These results suggest that, in settings such as these, more comprehensive or ambitious WASH interventions may be needed to achieve a major impact on child health.


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