UNICEF’s Game Plan to End Open Defecation


Open defecation has devastating consequences for public health. Faecal contamination of the environment and poor hygiene practices remain a leading cause of child mortality, morbidity, undernutrition and stunting, and can potentially have negative effects on cognitive development. Poor sanitation can also be a barrier to education and economic opportunity, with women and girls often particularly vulnerable to the consequences of poor sanitation services. This document presents UNICEF’s ‘game plan’ to end open defecation. This game plan helps operationalise the SDGs’ call to ‘leave no one behind’ – and focuses on reaching the furthest behind first.

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