Evaluating the impact of water and sanitation quality on child malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa
Waggoner, Kimberly Moore.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Unclean drinking water and unhygienic means of waste disposal are common realities for a significant percentage of people in the developing world. The consequences of these deficiencies on various aspects of human development have been well studied. The relationship between water and sanitation quality and child malnutrition, which accounts for a significant percentage of all global child deaths, is not as clear. This thesis examines the correlation between improving the quality of drinking water sources and sanitation facilities and the likelihood that a child will be stunted, wasted, and/or underweight. Probit models with controls for child- and maternal-specific characteristics, household-specific variables, and individual countries are used to analyze these relationships in this study, using data collected from 2005-2009 by the Demographic and Health Surveys from 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Results suggest that there is a strong negative correlation between having optimal sanitation facilities and a decrease in the likelihood of a child being chronically malnourished, compared to having unimproved sanitation facilities. This relationship is much more consistently statistically significant than the relationship between improved water quality and decreased malnutrition. This study concludes that projects to improve sanitation should be given greater consideration and that the benefits from reduced child malnutrition should be included in cost-benefit analyses of water and sanitation projects.
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