Impact of Water and Sanitation on Child Health: Evidence from Pakistan
Author: Aleena Khan

In Pakistan, approximately 16 million and 68 million people lack access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities, respectively. This study aimed to determine whether children under the age of five years without access to improved sources of drinking water and sanitation facilities are at higher risk of childhood stunting in Pakistan. The Pakistan Demographic and Health survey (PDHS 2013) data is used to examine the impact of water and sanitation on children’s height-forage Z score (HAZ), an indicator of child chronic under-nutrition. Children are classified as ‘stunted’ if their HAZ is below -2 SD, according to the criteria by the World Health Organization. The estimates from Propensity Score Matching (PSM) methods show that children who have access to safe drinking water have at least 0.30 SD higher HAZ compared to the ones who do not have this access. Similarly, improved sanitation facilities increase the HAZ by at least 0.25 SD. In addition, access to high and intermediate quality of water is associated with a 0.28 SD and 0.22 SD HAZ. On the other hand, high quality of sanitation facilities increases HAZ by 0.45 SD. The combine effect of improved water and sanitation facilities is also found to be significant thereby suggesting that better quality of water and sanitation are associated with higher HAZ- scores. The study also found suggestive evidence that the incidence of diarrhea is a potential channel for this effect. Supervisor:- Dr. Muhammad Nasir

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Supervisor: Muhammad Nasir

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