Recent WASH research on handwashing, CLTS, Ascaris infections and more

In addition to the studies below, recent updates to include the blog posts, Webinar Discusses the Use of Monitoring Data in WASH Sector Decision-MakingWater Security in an Uncertain Future: Enhancing Water Resources Management and Planning by Reducing Climate- and Weather-Related Risks and news articles from the African Water Association, Kenya and Nigeria in USAID in the News.


Effects of single and integrated water, sanitation, handwashing, and nutrition interventions on child soil-transmitted helminth and Giardia infections: A cluster-randomized controlled trial in rural Kenya. PLoS Medicine, June 26. Integration of improved water quality, sanitation, and handwashing could contribute to sustainable control strategies for Ascaris infections, particularly in similar settings with recent or ongoing deworming programs. Combining nutrition with WASH did not provide further benefits, and water treatment alone was similarly effective to integrated WSH. Our findings provide new evidence that drinking water should be given increased attention as a transmission pathway for Ascaris.

Toward Complementary Food Hygiene Practices among Child Caregivers in Rural Malawi. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, June 24. Analysis of variance analyses revealed that literacy level, ownership of animals, and presence of handwashing facility and dish racks were contextual factors predicting storage of utensils on an elevated place and handwashing frequencies. Psychosocial factors, such as time spent to wash utensils with soap, distance to the handwashing facility, and cost for soap, had an influence on washing utensils and handwashing practices. Risk perceptions on storage of utensils and handwashing practices should be increased with motivational exercises such as paint games. Caregivers’ technical know-how of local dish rack and tippy tap construction is essential.

Long-term impact of a community-led sanitation campaign in India, 2005‒2016. WHO Bulletin, online first. In 2016, intervention households continued to have higher rates of ever owning a latrine (26.3 percentage points; 95% CI: 20.9 to 31.8). However, latrine functionality and open defecation were no longer different across groups, due to both acquisition of latrines by control households and abandonment and deterioration of latrines in intervention homes.

Examining time‐dependent effects of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions using an agent‐based model. Trop Med Int Health, June 14. We simulated three intervention strategies, implemented separately in the experiments. The clean drinking water intervention, sanitation intervention, and hand washing intervention had similar success rates in the long‐term. The handwashing intervention had the largest immediate effect. This highlights that proper short‐ and long‐term intervention strategies need to be considered for disease control and the effective management of limited resources.

Comprehensive assessment of handwashing and faecal contamination among elementary school children in an urban slum of Indonesia. Trop Med Int Health, June 13. Proper handwashing technique and HWWS at appropriate times can reduce fecal contamination. Moreover, it is important that both grade‐based and gender‐based handwashing education be considered in elementary school education.

Microbial study of household hygiene conditions and associated Listeria monocytogenes infection risks for Peruvian women. Trop Med Int Health, May 2019. In addition to gaining insights on how human behaviours affect exposure and infection risk, this model addressed uncertainties regarding the influence of household surface contamination levels. Understanding the influence of surface contamination in preventing pathogen transmission in households could help to develop intervention strategies to reduce L. monocytogenes infection and associated health risks.


Three things we have learned by creating shit-flow diagrams. WaterAid, June 24. How do you get a full picture of how a city deals (or doesn’t deal) with its waste? Rémi Kaupp, urban sanitation specialist, swears by shit flow diagrams…

Reducing inequalities through universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene. WaterAid, July 2019. Prioritize reaching the furthest behind first by: 1. Increasing collection and dissemination of disaggregated data (by income, ethnicity, location, gender, disability, etc.), to better understand who lacks access and why.

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