Policy Brief

WASH and Maternal and Newborn Health

Alexandra Chitty
Joanna Esteves Mills
Issue Lab
Publication Year:
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation


Due to the multiple pathways through which poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) may adversely impact maternal and newborn health (MNH) outcomes, the time to act has arrived. This briefing paper documents the state of the evidence on WASH and MNH and the Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity (SHARE) Consortium’s contribution to our understanding, highlights opportunities for future research, and offers insights that could influence policy and improve programming in both sectors globally. In doing so, it offers a powerful argument in favour of using WASH to support efforts on MNH to leverage greater progress in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality, and offers concrete recommendations as to how this opportunity might be seized.


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