Integration of water, sanitation and hygiene for the control of neglected tropical diseases: a review of progress and the way forward


A WHO roadmap to control, eliminate and eradicate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) proposes a public health approach integrating diverse prevention and treatment interventions. Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has long been a recognised, yet under-prioritised intervention of global disease control efforts.

Through collaboration with the WASH sector, efforts have been made to integrate WASH in NTD control. This article reviews progress made in recent years, explores mechanisms supporting advances, and identifies priorities and next steps for accelerating WASH integration.

This paper reveals advances in collaboration between WASH and NTD sectors, resulting in progress made across areas of programming; research; advocacy and policy; training and capacity building; and mapping, data collection and monitoring. Face-to-face meetings between WASH and NTD sector experts with a clear purpose of informing wider sector discussions, and the development of actionable joint workplans, have been particularly critical in supporting progress.

Priority next steps include building capacity for WASH programming among NTD control teams, coordination at the country level, and strengthening the epidemiological evidence and operational learning for joint WASH and NTD interventions. In order to accelerate WASH integration in NTD control through strong collaborations with the WASH sector, the NTD sector could make use of strong data management skills and advocacy opportunities.

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Publication details
Date published
3 March 2016