Sanitation and stunting in India: Undernutrition's blind spot

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Global proportions of ODF, poverty and undernutrition diagram

The puzzle of persistent undernutrition in India is largely explained by open defecation, population density, and lack of sanitation and hygiene. The impact on nutrition of many faecally-transmitted infections, not just the diarrhoeas, has been a blind spot. In hygienic conditions much of the undernutrition in India would disappear. To tackle undernutrition effectively requires the elimination of open defecation and a radical transformation of sanitation and hygiene policies and practices.

This article by Robert Chambers (IDS) and Gregor von Medeazza (UNICEF) was first published in the Economic & Political Weekly (EPW) on June 22, 2013 vol xlvIiI no 25.

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Date: 15 July 2013
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Country: 
India
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