DCP3 series editor Dr. Ramanan Laxminarayan and DCP3 author and Advisory Committee member Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta provided expert commentary in a July 13, 2014 New York Times article on poor sanitation in India and its effect on children. Specifically, the article addresses the connection between unclean water and child malnutrition, citing examples of children who are eating enough food but are subject to unsanitary living conditions, and therefore suffering from malnutrition.
Dr. Laxminarayan contributed by stating, "India’s stunting problem represents the largest loss of human potential in any country in history, and it affects 20 times more people in India alone than H.I.V./AIDS does around the world." Stunting is a major cause of child mortality worldwide, with a millions deaths per year.
While the connection between poor sanitation and stunting is important to address, Dr. Bhutta argues that lack of food is still a key factor in child malnutrition. Dr. Bhutta stated, "in South Asia, a more important factor driving stunting is diet quality.” Studies are ongoing to try and determine the proportion of stunting due to poor sanitation.
Read the full article on the New York Times website.