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School-based Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Interventions: Hardware meets Software

Photo Credit: World Vision/Jon Warren

Despite substantial reductions in child mortality from diarrhea over the past 25 years, an estimated 1,000 children – almost all of whom live in low- and middle-income countries – continue to die from diarrheal disease every day. Sesame Workshop, World Vision International, and the Davis lab in CEE have formed a partnership to transform WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) attitudes and behaviors aimed at reducing exposure to fecal contamination through safe water practices, increased latrine use, consistent hand washing and good personal hygiene. The educational program features a new muppet, named Raya, and targets 6- to 9-year-old children (grades 1 through 4) through an after-school curriculum. The goal of this project is to quantify the impacts of this curriculum on knowledge and behavior change, as well as on fecal contamination of the school and household environment. A pilot study in Zambia concluded in the spring of 2019, and a larger cluster-randomized controlled trial is launching in India this November.