Scientists have evaluated the health impact of sanitation by measuring rates of diarrheal disease. A new study shows that child growth improves after communities add toilet facilities.
News from Africa
Regional News from Stanford University - Africa
News Item How Toilets Affect Child Health
Roughly one out of four people worldwide has no access to a toilet. A program underway in 50 countries could provide a solution, by motivating communities to build latrines and stop open defecation. The approach increases access to – and use of – sanitation facilities, according to a study co-authored by a Stanford researcher.
Among the promising results of the effort, the researchers found that the practices improved child growth in the communities.
When Hugo Hilton began working at Stanford as a young researcher several years ago, his supervisor set him to work on a minor problem so he could practice some standard lab techniques. His results, however, were anything but standard. His supervisor — senior research scientist Paul Norman — told him to do the work over, convinced the new guy had made a mistake. But Hilton, got the same result the second time, so Norman made him do it over again.
A deadly disease may have met its match: a bug-eyed, pint-sized crustacean.
A Stanford-led study in Senegal, West Africa finds that freshwater prawns can serve as an effective natural solution in the battle against schistosomiasis, a potentially deadly parasitic disease that infects about 230 million people. The prawns prey on parasite-infected snails, while providing a source of marketable protein-rich food. Because prawns cannot support schistosomiasis’ complex lifecycle, they do not transmit the disease themselves.