Integrated approach in addressing undernutrition in developing countries: A scoping review of integrated water access, sanitation, and hygiene (wash) + nutrition interventions

Elsevier, Current Developments in Nutrition, Volume 5, 1 July 2021
Nounkeu C.D., Dharod J.M.

A scoping review of integrated water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) plus nutrition interventions was conducted mainly to describe different components of intervention and examine their effectiveness in improving nutritional outcomes among children. Of the 8 small- to large-scale interventions, 6 were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa and the remaining 2 in South Asia. All the interventions were done in rural settings; the majority involved sanitation and hygiene deliverables along with the nutrition strategies, such as distribution of nutrition supplements. In assessing effectiveness, no significant improvements were seen in growth indicators; reduction in diarrheal rate among children was also not universal across interventions. Further strengthening of WASH, especially an improvement in "W", or water access, is warranted to ensure uptake of sanitation and hygiene behaviors and prevent the fecal-oral route among children. Improved water access will also enhance the effectiveness of nutrition initiatives, such as promoting vegetable gardening and utilization of child nutrient supplements.