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The provision of safe water and sanitation coupled with improvements in hygiene initiatives (WASH) can contribute significantly to ameliorating nutritional challenges and to improve health outcomes. Explain.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

4. The provision of safe water and sanitation coupled with improvements in hygiene initiatives (WASH) can contribute significantly to ameliorating nutritional challenges and to improve health outcomes. Explain. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: Indian Express

Why the question:

According to the World Health Organisation, 50 per cent of all mal- and under-nutrition can be traced to diarrhoea and intestinal worm infections, which are a direct result of poor water, sanitation and hygiene.

Key Demand of the question:

To develop a link between WASH and improved nutrition.

Directive word: 

Explain – Clarify the topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurred, or what is the context. You must be defining key terms wherever appropriate and substantiate with relevant associated facts.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Start by giving context between malnutrition and hygiene.

Body:

Give brief about the malnutrition status in India, its causes and its impact.

Bring the link between malnutrition and sanitation. Highlight how apart from the food intake, factors such as contaminated drinking water, poor sanitation, and unhygienic living conditions play a part in the development of the child. Cite data from WHO and NFHS-5 to substantiate your points

Mention few initiatives taken up by the government in this direction to address this chronic issue.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.