An ecological quantification of the relationships between water, sanitation and infant, child, and maternal mortality - Paper published in the Journal Environmental Health

This paper discusses the findings of a study that aimed at quantifying the relationship between water and sanitation and infant, child, and maternal mortality.

A number of studies have made associations between prevention of disease burden among populations by improving water supply, sanitation, hygiene and management of water resources and between poor water quality and disease burden.

Although these studies have calculated disease burden related to poor water supply, sanitation and hygiene, there has not been a quantification of the improvement in health related outcomes due to improvements in water supply and sanitation. With this background, this study aimed at finding out the extent of contribution of safe water and sanitation to mortality outcomes on a global scale, which would further enforce the importance of investing in water and sanitation as a development strategy.

Country level data were collected for 193 countries from several organisations such as the World Health Organisation Statistical Information System, United Nations Children’s Fund Childinfo, and World Bank Open Data. Four key outcome variables were explored in this analysis including under-five mortality rate, Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), and proportion of under-five deaths due to diarrhoea.

The analyses indicated a statistically significant relationship between water and maternal, infant, and child mortality. Increasing access to water and sanitation were significantly associated with decreases in the negative health outcomes of interest, namely under-five child mortality, under-five child mortality due to diarrhea, IMR and MMR.

A copy of the paper can be accessed from this link

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