Integrating Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene into Nutrition Programming

Diarrhea, pneumonia and birth complications are the top three killers of children under age five worldwide. Each year diarrhea alone causes the death of 760,000 children under five (11 percent of all child mortality). Diarrhea is also a leading cause of undernutrition in this age group and one-third to one-half of all child mortality cases are linked to undernutrition. UNICEF estimates that more than 90 percent of deaths from diarrheal illnesses in young children can be attributed to unsafe or inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices. If mothers and other caregivers used basic hygiene practices and had better access to safe water and adequate sanitation this could greatly reduce under 5 deaths and improve child nutrition.