At last slum health, featured in previous blogs, is starting to receive the attention it deserves. A recent report on the Mathare settlement in Nairobi, Kenya  correlates how far a person lives from a public toilet and risk of disease. The further a person lives from the facility, the more likely they are to be chronically unwell, especially with diarrhoeal diseases and childhood stunting. As readers know, poor nutrition and sanitation create a vicious circle. Also, the risk of violence against women rises with distance from a public facility. Clean water and sanitation remain huge challenges for slum dwellers. Improved sanitation would also produce an educational and economic dividend. Meanwhile toilet design has improved, for example, with the invention of the composting toilet, so cost-effective, logistically feasible improvements are possible and likely to be highly cost-effective. The CLAHRC WM Director liked this paper because it integrated disease surveillance, geospatial mapping, and the personal accounts of slum dwellers, to create a rich account of pathways to poor health.
— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director
- Corburn J & Hildebrand C. Slum sanitation and the social determinants of women’s health in Nairobi, Kenya. J Env Public Health. 2015. [ePub]