Acharya, A., et al., Estimating the child health equity potential of improved sanitation in Nepal. BMC Public Health, 2013. 13 Suppl 3: p. S25.
Access to improved sanitation plays an important role in child health through its impact on diarrheal mortality and malnutrition. Inequities in sanitation coverage translate into health inequities across socio-economic groups. This paper presents the differential impact on child mortality and diarrheal incidence of expanding sanitation coverage across wealth quintiles in Nepal.
We modeled three scale up coverage scenarios at the national level and at each of the 5 wealth quintiles for improved sanitation in Nepal in the Lives Saved Tool (LiST): equal for all quintiles, realistically pro-poor and ambitiously pro-poor.
The results show that equal improvement in sanitation coverage can save a total of 226 lives (10.7% of expected diarrhea deaths), while a realistically pro-poor program can save 451 child lives (20.5%) and the ambitiously pro-poor program can save 542 lives (24.6%).
Pro-poor policies for expanding sanitation coverage have the ability to reduce population level health inequalities which can translate into reduced child diarrheal mortality.