This article explores the key role that water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions can play, and what partnerships, programmes and policies can be adopted to help see the end of certain neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
When talking about the end goal for a number of NTDs, we use the term ‘elimination’ as a public health problem instead of ‘control’. This requires disease prevalence to be reduced to below specific threshold levels so that transmission levels are sufficiently low for fixed health facilities to treat cases, so that specific community outreach programmes are not required. This carries a risk of resurgence to public health problem levels if the conditions for transmission have not changed. For diseases in which access to water, and poor sanitation and hygiene (WASH) plays a fundamental role, undertaking efforts to improve these conditions will reduce the risk of resurgence and, ultimately, enhance the sustainability of elimination efforts.