WATER, SANITATION, AND HYGIENE
STH can be treated and sometimes cured with medication. However, infections are often cumulative leading to more worms in a person and greater risk of serious health consequences. Preventing infection is ideal, but it is especially difficult in areas where sanitation conditions are poor. Improved and consistent Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) facilities and practices have a key role in preventing transmission and reducing the intensity of infections. An integrated program approach to STH includes the provision of PC with specific activities to improve access to and use of sanitation and help ensure proper hygiene practices.
WASH interventions lower the risk of infection and burden from multiple diseases. Sustained WASH services promote the long-term control and even elimination of STH. Prevention of open defecation and adequate sanitation facilities prevent helminth eggs passed in the feces of infected individuals from being ingested or in contact with humans. Hand washing with soap and thoroughly cleaning uncooked foods (e.g. fruit, vegetables) help prevent humans from ingesting eggs. Recognizing the importance of delivering WASH interventions alongside other NTD interventions, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed a strategy to accelerate the control and elimination of NTDs by 2020. See the WHO WASH-NTD agenda here.
FIND OUT MORE!
Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, and Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infection: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Link to STH Coalition
Water Sanitation & Hygiene for Accelerating and Sustaining Progress on Neglected Tropical Diseases
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene for Neglected Tropical Disease – Online Manual Resource