Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), Environmental Enteropathy, Nutrition, and Early Child Development: Making the Links. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Jan 2014.
Authors: Francis M. Ngure, et al.
This study reviews evidence linking WASH, anemia, and child growth, and highlight pathways through which WASH may affect early child development, primarily through inflammation, stunting, and anemia. Environmental enteropathy, a prevalent subclinical condition of the gut, may be a key mediating pathway linking poor hygiene to developmental deficits. Current early child development research and programs lack evidence-based interventions to provide a clean play and infant feeding environment in addition to established priorities of nutrition, stimulation, and child protection. Solutions to this problem will require appropriate behavior change and technologies that are adapted to the social and physical context and conducive to infant play and socialization. The authors propose the concept of baby WASH as an additional component of early childhood development programs.