Link between poor sanitation and higher risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcome

  • F H Mughal
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Links between WASH and maternal and newborn health

Though there is a significant link between WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and maternal and newborn health (MNH), many of us never paid any attention to this. In Pakistan, and probably in other developing countries, the policy documents of WASH authorities never make any link with MNH. Likewise, the health authorities’ policy documents never talk of specific connection with WASH sector. I have often noticed that in government-managed hospitals, quality of drinking water is poor, toilets are in bad shape, personal hygiene is most hopeless, and indoor air quality (ventilation) is poor.

High profile institutions, like DFID, WHO, LSHTM, SoapBox and WaterAid, will launch today (15 Dec 2014) the PLOS Medicine paper “From joint thinking to joint action: A call to action on improving water, sanitation and hygiene for maternal and newborn health;” and a discussion on how water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) can accelerate progress on maternal and newborn health, at the John Snow Lecture Theatre, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT.


While the event will be chaired by Oliver Cumming (LSHTM), there will be renowed speakers like:

Ms Jane Edmondson (Head of Human Development, UK DFID)
Dr Maria Neira (Director of Public Health and Environment, WHO)
Professor Oona Campbell (LSHTM)
Professor Wendy Graham (University of Aberdeen, & SoapBox)
Dr Paul Simpson (Deputy Editor, PLOS Medicine)
Ms Yael Velleman (Senior Policy Analyst, WaterAid)

Like other professionals, I look forward to their outcomes and presentations.

F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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  • jbr
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Re: Link between poor sanitation and higher risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcome

Daer Colleagues,

Has anyone seen this publication?

Padhi BK, Baker KK, Dutta A, Cumming O,Freeman MC, Satpathy R, et al:
Risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes among Women Practicing Poor Sanitation in Rural India: A Population-Based Prospective Cohort Study.

PLoS Med 12(7): e1001851. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001851

Landmark in that it seems to be the first evidence that poor sanitation is linked to a higher risk of APO (Adverse Pregnancy Outcome).

Best regards,
John Brogan
Terre des hommes

John Brogan
Terre des hommes

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  • Gendersan1
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Re: Link between poor sanitation and higher risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcome

Thank you for sharing this link to the publication of Padhi et al. 2015!

As we are working on related research interests(see "Genderized WASH" Eaawag/Sandec;
"WASH in the context of maternal health and menstrual hygiene in Uganda and India" (see: www.eawag.ch/en/department/sandec/projects/sesp/g-wash/ )
this is of special interest to us and proves once more the importance of the connections between sanitation and maternal health.

Best,
Petra Kohler

Petra Kohler
Water & Sanitation in Developing Countries (Sandec) Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science & Technology (Eawag) P.O. Box 611 CH-8600 Dübendorf Switzerland
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www.sandec.ch
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  • SusanAko
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Re: Link between poor sanitation and higher risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcome

Hi Petra,
Thanks for sharing, i am very interested in the research you mentioned but the link does not seem to be working. I will like to know more,can help please.
Very best

Susan
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  • Gendersan1
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Re: RE: [SuSanA forum] Link between poor sanitation and higher risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (Health issues and connections with sanitation)

Hi Susan,

Thank you for your message. I did not know, the link is not working.
I hope you can access this one:
www.eawag.ch/en/department/sandec/projects/sesp/g-wash/

I am always open to discussion and for exchange.

Kind regards,
Petra

Petra Kohler
Water & Sanitation in Developing Countries (Sandec) Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science & Technology (Eawag) P.O. Box 611 CH-8600 Dübendorf Switzerland
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  • muench
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Re: Link between poor sanitation and higher risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcome

Hi Susan,

I have fixed the link, now it is working.

Note to all: make sure you don't put a comma, full stop, semi colon or similar directly behind the URL as it will make the hyperlink not working. And if you find a link that is not working, check if you can just omit the comma, full stop or semi colon at the end to make it work.

Regards,
Elisabeth

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • jbr
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Re: Link between poor sanitation and higher risk of Adverse Pregnancy Outcome

Coming back to this article from Pahdi et al. and reflecting with some colleagues on its significance:

"While it is intuitive to expect that caste and poverty are associated with poor sanitation practice driving APOs, and we cannot rule out additional confounders, our results demonstrate that the association of poor sanitation practices (open defecation) with these outcomes is independent of poverty. Our results support the need to assess the mechanisms, both biological and behavioural, by which limited access to improved sanitation leads to APOs."

We feel that this study gives a fresh perspective on the link between WASH and Health. Tdh uses WASH to support maternal newborn and child health (MNCH) programming, focusing on girls and women of reproductive age. Although we try to influence delayed pregnancy, among the most significant factors in terms of readiness for motherhood are nutritional status, psycho-social well-being, level of education and status within the family. Since we monitor hundreds of girls and women in our protection/health programmes, this puts a new research angle on our radar.

For example, it would be interesting to explore the relationship between age, open defecation and adverse pregnancy outcome.

John Brogan
Terre des hommes
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