Urban child health. tackling disease and stunting.
We have supported 22 urban settlements in Kurigram Municipality, Bangladesh through improving safe sanitation access, piped water, and maternal and child health care. We target vulnerable settlement dwellers, including migrant families, pregnant and lactating women, children and adolescent girls. Stunting rates in children under two have dropped by half, and 99% of people are handwashing at the five critical times, thanks to our interventions. This is despite extreme floods that affected the area.
Extreme flooding in 2017 was a major blow to families.
Many lost their latrines and handwashing devices (which they had just invested in themselves, thanks to our awareness raising activities), or saw them severely damaged. It impacted their livelihoods, disrupted project delivery, and we had to shift gears and provide extra resources to help families’ recover.
Remarkable progress despite extreme floods
The most remarkable change, despite setbacks from the worst floods in a decade, has been in community attitudes to hygiene – both latrines and handwashing stations. Overcoming challenges, thousands of people now have access to safe water including over 1,000 with piped water at home! 93% have access to an improved latrine versus a baseline of 17%, and 99% report handwashing at the 5 critical times. Three and a half times as many new mothers (94%) have accessed post-natal care services. In just over two years, 69 children have moved into the normal growth range (no longer stunted).