Emily Rand on Improved Child Feces Management

Image credit: World Bank

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Emily Rand is a water supply and sanitation specialist at the World Bank, who also teaches about the design, implementation, and evaluation of WASH programs at George Washington University in Washington, DC. In her recent conversation with Global Waters Radio, Rand discusses key findings from recent research produced by the World Bank and UNICEF in the growing public health field of child feces management. She also shares examples of improved caregiver behaviors and programs to promote those behaviors.

Poor child feces management can result in substantial health impacts in children, including a higher prevalence of diarrheal disease, intestinal worms, enteropathy, malnutrition, and death. For that reason, safe disposal of children’s feces is as essential as that of adults’ feces.

The joint UNICEF-World Bank analysis showed that more than 50 percent of households with children under age three reported that their children’s feces were unsafely disposed of. Even among households with improved toilets or latrines, some unsafe child feces disposal behavior was reported. Rand tells Global Waters Radio one of the major obstacles to improving this situation is the myth or common belief that children’s feces are not harmful, when in fact, exposure to children’s feces can pose a greater public health threat than exposure to adults’ feces.

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Global Waters Radio was a podcast series produced by the Water Team at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2016 - 2020. The series offered listeners insights from USAID officials, development partners, thought leaders and experts from across the water sector as they discussed USAID water programming and cutting-edge research from around the world.

Publication Date
Author credits
Emily Rand
Russell Sticklor
9 minutes 8 seconds
Population Focus
Related Countries