by Hugh Ellis and Erica Schoenberger
PLoS ONE 12(1): e0170451, 26 January 2017
According to the most recent estimates, 842,000 deaths in low- to middle-income countries were attributable to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in 2012. Despite billions of dollars and decades of effort, we still lack a sound understanding of which kinds of WASH interventions are most effective in improving public health outcomes, and an important corollary – whether the right things are being measured. The results of this study suggest that a higher priority may need to be given to improved sanitation than has been the case. Nevertheless, while our focus in this paper is mortality, morbidity is a staggering consequence of inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene, and lower impact on mortality may not mean a similarly low impact on morbidity.