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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 134  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 403

How to integrate water, sanitation and hygiene into programmes

PGIMER School of Public Health, Chandigarh 160 012, India

Date of Web Publication30-Sep-2011

Correspondence Address:
Rajesh Kumar
PGIMER School of Public Health, Chandigarh 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Kumar R, Senjam S. How to integrate water, sanitation and hygiene into programmes. Indian J Med Res 2011;134:403

How to cite this URL:
Kumar R, Senjam S. How to integrate water, sanitation and hygiene into programmes. Indian J Med Res [serial online] 2011 [cited 2020 Feb 26];134:403. Available from:

(World Health Organization, Geneva) 2010. 130 pages. Price: CHF/US$ 30.00; in developing countries: CHF/US$ 21.00

ISBN 978-92-4-154801-4

Despite several technological advances in 20 th century, vast population groups in low and middle income countries still do not have access to safe water supply and sanitation. Inadequate supply of water also compromises hygiene standards in these countries. Although low cost water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) improvement technologies and strategies are available but adequate investments have not been made in this area, neither by international development agencies nor by national governments. The importance of WASH has also been neglected by vertical disease control programmes, despite the fact that WASH plays an important role in preventing the disease conditions that require vast sums of money for their control.

In this scenario, handbook on how to integrate WASH with HIV, published jointly by WHO and USAID, is a welcome step. Twenty four expert contributors from around the world underlie the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene practices in caring of HIV patients. It is perhaps first attempt of integrating systemically the WASH strategy into a vertical disease control programme so that WASH becomes a part of routine activities for prevention and care of HIV patients.

Opportunistic infections and water related diseases such as diarrhoeal diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV patients. Most of the opportunistic infections are contributed by lack of hygiene, poor sanitation and inaccessibility to good quality water. This book explains simple cost-effective strategies to reduce morbidity related with above factors in people living with HIV.

There are five chapters in this book besides an executive summary. Each chapter provides a box which is very useful for the reader. First chapter summarizes the burden of unsafe water and sanitation, and then goes on to describe the scope and objectives of the handbook. Second chapter provides guidance on the WASH practices that national HIV/AIDS programme should implement as a priority. It outlines different strategies of treating water and methods of food handling. It also explains the basis of recommended approaches to improve WASH practices. Third chapter presents a stepwise approach to integrate WASH practices into global and national level policy and guidelines. Best practice examples from some of the African countries where home based care guidelines on WASH-HIV integration are already in place illustrate that similar approaches can be considered in other countries. Practical tools provided in the annexure, illustrated with simple pictures about various hygienic practices that can be adapted, will be quite valuable to the community development professionals.

This handbook is easy to read and understand. It provides good innovative ideas to reduce morbidity due to poor sanitation and hygiene and poor quality water by introducing WASH strategies into HIV programme alongside the scaling up of current pharmacological measures. Though this handbook is mainly aimed for those managing and implementing HIV related programmes but we think it will also be useful for managers of other health and development programmes.


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