Impact of WASH on Babies - WaterAid’s Healthy Start: the first month of life

  • F H Mughal
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Impact of WASH on Babies

Impact of WASH on Babies

According to a US WaterAid’s post ( www.wateraid.org/us/one-in-five-newborn-...s-could-be-prevented ), 500,000 babies die in the first month of life each year, in developing countries.

Ms. Sarina Prabasi, WaterAid Chief Executive, says that one in five newborn deaths in the developing world is due to a lack of safe water, sanitation and clean hands. A WaterAid briefing shows that nearly half a million babies die in their first month of life each year because they are born into unhygienic conditions.

“For one in five babies who die during their first month of life in the developing world, simply being washed in clean water and cared for in a clean environment by people who had washed their hands could have prevented their untimely deaths. In Mali, for instance, one woman in every 17 will lose a baby to infection during her lifetime compared to one in 2,958 in the US,” says WaterAid post.

I have myself seen in the rural areas of Sindh, Pakistan, babies being brought up in most unhygienic environment. Even the hospitals in rural Sindh lack basic facilities, and babies even die in hospitals. A recent (4 Jan) newspaper report ( www.dawn.com/news/1380610/five-more-infa...alnutrition-in-mithi ), reveals that in 2017, around 512 infants died at six different health facilities of the Tharparkar district. Not only that, it is a continuing process – death of babies.

Perhaps, the US-based WaterAid needs to revisit their figure of 500,000 deaths of babies in developing countries.

F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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  • sbudge2017
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Re: Impact of WASH on Babies

Hi there,

An interesting point, thank you for sharing.
For my PhD research I am looking at the relationship between sanitation and nutrition and environmental enteropathy and effects on stunting in infants in Ethiopia. As I read more about the impact of pathogenic exposure on the gut, it seems so obvious that faecal exposure has been sorely missed as a focus to prevent under 5 morbidity and mortality.
The new BabyWASH coalition hopefully holds promise to start the integration of WASH and nutrition sectors for infant health.
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  • neilpw
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Re: Impact of WASH on Babies

Dear Sophie Budge,

Thank you for your message about 'sanitation and nutrition and environmental enteropathy and effects on stunting in infants in Ethiopia'.

On the CHIFA forum (global child health and rights: www.chifa.org ) we are currently looking at health care for the newborn (from birth to 1 month). I would be grateful to learn from you and others about the impact of (lack of) sanitation on the mortality and morbidity of newborn infants in low- and middle-income countries.

Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where children are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join CHIFA (Child Healthcare Information For All): www.hifa.org/forums/chifa-child-health-and-rights

CHIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All) and assistant moderator of the CHIFA forum. He is current chair of the Dgroups Foundation ( www.dgroups.info ), which supports 700 communities of practice for international development, social justice and global health. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All) and co-director of the Global Healthcare Information Network. He is also currently chair of the Dgroups Foundation ( www.dgroups.info ), a partnership of 18 international development organisations promoting dialogue for international health and development. He started his career as a hospital doctor in the UK, and has clinical experience as an isolated health worker in rural Ecuador and Peru. For the last 20 years he has been committed to the global challenge of improving the availability and use of...
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  • sbudge2017
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Re: Impact of WASH on Babies

Thank you Neil - I will join and find you on twitter!

Sophie
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