India – Effects of Rural Sanitation on Infant Mortality and Human Capital

According to joint UNICEF and WHO (2012) estimates for 2010, 15 percent of people in the world openly defecate without any toilet or latrine; 60 percent of these live in India. The global impact of poor sanitation on infant and child death and health is profound. Black et al. (2003) estimate that 10 million children under 5 die every year { 2.4 million of them in India { and that a fth to a quarter of these deaths are due to diarrhea.

Disease early in life also has lasting e ects on the health and human capital of children who survive (Almond and Currie, 2011). Evidence from the history of now-rich countries has demonstrated that complete sanitation infrastructure { sewage pipes and septic tanks { importantly improves health outcomes. However, it is not plausible that these public investments will soon be implemented by the limited capacity states that govern many poor people. Therefore, it would be important to learn the effects of low-cost sanitation programs that could be implemented by poor country bureaucracies. Download Report
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