Aligned advocacy for integration on health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

2 min read
Image: A group of 8-year-old children at a primary school in Madagascar beneath a line indicating the global average height for their age as outlined by the World Health Organization. WaterAid/ Kate Holt.

How does coordination, integration and investment in child health and WASH increase impacts and cost-effectiveness? Eileen Quinn, Director of PATH’s Defeat Diarrheal Disease Initiative, introduces our joint brief showing how government and donor work across sectors can help end child malnutrition.

Since the early days of DefeatDD, PATH’s Defeat Diarrheal Disease Initiative, we have worked in partnership with many allies in the WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) community on improving policy to integrate these essential services. One of our favorite partners is WaterAid. We have long admired and appreciated their clear thinking, savvy advocacy and commitment to integrated approaches to addressing diarrheal disease.

That is why we were particularly excited to collaborate with WaterAid on a new policy brief: Coordinate, Integrate, Invest: how joint child health and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) can deliver for your country’s future.

Our analysis highlights key opportunities to realize major health gains and improved cost-effectiveness through countries investing in coordinated approaches that include health and WASH interventions. For example, one of the case studies we feature captures the Government of Nepal’s success in using immunization clinics for rotavirus vaccines as a chance to help parents learn more about good hygiene practices.

Mother with their babies attending the hygiene session at District Hospital, Jajarkot, Nepal, May 2017.
WaterAid/ Mani Karmacharya
Image: WaterAid/ Mani Karmacharya

As it happens, I was recently in Nepal visiting a Kathmandu clinic providing typhoid vaccines to the community as part of study to improve our understanding of typhoid conjugate vaccine’s effectiveness. It was great to see that the clinic included WASH as part of the education given to parents about preventing typhoid.

A water, sanitation and hygiene poster at a typhoid clinic in Kathmandu, Nepal.
A WASH poster at a typhoid clinic in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Image: Eileen Quinn

Read our brief showing how government and donor work across sectors can help end child malnutrition here.