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SPH Brown Bag: WASH Benefits: Randomized, controlled trials to evaluate the individual and combined impacts of water, sanitation, hygiene, and nutritional interventions on diarrhea and stunting in children in low-income, rural settings.
November 5 @ 11:30 - 12:30 PST
Jack Colford, MD PhD, Professor of Epidemiology, will present on UC Berkeley being the coordinating center for two recent large (total N=13,797) randomized, controlled, factorial 7-arm trials in Bangladesh and Kenya supported by the Gates Foundation (the WASH BENEFITS studies) (1,2). The trials were designed to investigate the effects of basic water, hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition interventions–delivered alone and in combination–on early childhood diarrhea and stunting. The impacts on diarrhea were mixed but both trials concluded that only the intervention arms containing nutritional supplementation had any impact on stunting (the WASH-only intervention arms had no individual and no synergistic impacts on stunting). These results were identical to those seen in an independent RCT subsequently published in Zimbabwe with a similar design (the SHINE trial) (3). The WASH and nutrition sectors are now actively debating the proper role for WASH campaigns in light of these unexpected results. (4)
Jack trained at Johns Hopkins (medical school) and then in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at UCSF before completing his Epidemiology PhD (Berkeley). He also served as the Chief Medical Resident at Stanford. He is the coordinating PI for the WASH Benefits trials supported by the Gates Foundation in Bangladesh and Kenya (http://www.washbenefits.net/) and has led numerous other WASH field studies supported by four different NIH R01 awards as well as other support from the USEPA, CDC, and the World Bank. He has co-authored >150 publications. Jack teaches three Epidemiology courses online at Berkeley in addition to his on-campus courses on Epidemiologic Methods, Global Health, and the design of randomized, controlled trials; he has received teaching awards at UCSF, Stanford, and Berkeley.